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Historical photo show 100 years ago header

100 Years Ago

Black History
Civil War
Gold Rush
Law and Order

Freight Traffic

Freight or 'line' boats of every kind and description plied the canal, hauling anything that buyers along the way wanted. These boats could carry over 60 tons of cargo. A large number of these boats were operated by families. During the winter months, the boats would tie up in a community. Family members would take turns breaking up the ice around the boat so that it did not get damaged. The children attended local schools.

Grain boats, hauling harvested grain to the south or north on the way to the eastern markets, were completely covered. Stone boats were a common sight, running between Sidney and the gravel pits in the Ft. Loramie area. Perhaps the most interesting ones were the ice boats. Throughout the winter, workers would cut ice in blocks 2 feet square and 10 inches thick. Packed in sawdust, the blocks were placed in storage until ice boats from Sidney, Troy, Dayton, and Cincinnati would arrive in the spring. Members of the Henry Arling family of St. Patrick (a village outside Ft. Loramie) worked in the ice houses.

The Civil War was a busy time for the canal. Canal boats were frequently used to carry troops and supplies from many northern communities to Cincinnati. The Queen City served as staging area for troop movement into the Confederacy.

freight boat on the canal freight traffic

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


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