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100 Years Ago


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Beginning of the Miami Canal

One of the routes that James Geddes and his men surveyed for a proposed canal was from Cincinnati, Ohio, north through Dayton and then on to Lake Erie in the vicinity of what is now Toledo. This route had the advantage of having the adjacent Great Miami River and, further north, the Maumee River, as sources of water. There were disadvantages. Nothing north of Dayton was developed, so the proposed canal was really not connecting two centers of commerce, as was the case in the eastern part of the state. An intricate series of locks would be also be needed to tackle the increase in elevation from the Ohio River northward to Shelby County.

The General Assembly passed a bill authorizing construction of the Ohio & Erie Canal and the Miami Canal from Cincinnati to Dayton in February 1825. Construction of the Ohio & Erie Canal was started first because of its logical connection to New York's successful Erie Canal and the important eastern markets. After a groundbreaking ceremony on July 4, 1825, it took only 2 years to complete the 38 mile section from Akron to Cleveland.   Canal construction developed more slowly on the western side of the state. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Miami Canal was held in Middletown on July 21, 1825. Construction proceeded southward toward Cincinnati. The canal became operational between that city and Dayton in 1829. Over 1,000 passengers a week were traveling between them by 1832.    

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 'Canal' segment written in December, 1998 by Rich Wallace

 

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