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Culverts and Aqueducts

There were several other specially engineered structures associated with the canal for which Shelby County, Ohio was noted. The most important of these was the Turtle Creek Culvert in Washington Township.  Jack Gieck, in his book, "A Photo Album of Ohio's Canal Era", referred to it as follows: "The magnificent Turtle Creek Culvert in Shelby County was longer and taller - and certainly more graceful - than many aqueducts." Located just off of Hardin-Houston near Shenk Road, the culvert carried the canal over Turtle Creek. The earthen embankment for the culvert was a half mile long. It carried the canal over stream at a height of 50 feet above the creek level. Because of its double-barreled construction, it was considered one of the most important engineering feats of the entire Ohio canal system.

turtle creek culvert

This project was begun in 1837. Because of disputes over who would build it, the culverts were not completed until 1843. Major repairs were made in 1897. The awe-inspiring structure (shown above) was later placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was torn down in the early 1980s due to its deteriorating condition and the lack of funds to restore it. Three aqueducts were constructed in the county. These were usually wooden structures that carried the canal over another body of water. Two were in the Lockington area. The third aqueduct took the canal over Loramie Creek at Ft. Loramie (shown below). Two other large culverts over Painter and Mill Creeks are found in Shelby County. These are also large structures with openings of approximately 25 feet in width. There are also two small culverts just north of the Lockington area.

ft loramie creek aqueduct

This aqueduct carried the canal over the Loramie Creek.  The towpath for the horses or mules is shown above, and the old bridge carrying traffic over the creek. Photo courtesy of Rita Hoying. 

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


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