The Miami & Erie Canal was completed from
Dayton to Cincinnati in 1829. The Sidney Feeder was finished from Port Jefferson to Sidney in 1841. The entire canal was linked
to Lake Erie by 1845. The arrival of the first canal boat in each community must have been
quite an event. The boat General Harrison (a working replica can be seen at
Johnston Farm in Piqua) was scheduled to be the first to arrive in Piqua from Dayton in
July 1837. The boat, with General William Henry Harrison on board, went only to Troy due
to insufficient water in the canal between Troy and Piqua. General Harrison and other
dignitaries rode to Piqua the next day. They were greeted by a huge crowd.
some disappointments as well. The editor of the "Sidney Journal" on
January 27, 1905, recalled the reaction of the large crowd in 1827 as it gathered on Main
Street in Cincinnati to watch water being let into the newly completed canal for the first
time. "They were woefully disappointed, for the water soaked at once into the
fresh earth, and it was four months before it puddled sufficiently to hold water enough to
float a boat."
The 1953 Sesquicentennial edition of "The Sidney Daily News" quoted
Henry Sherman of Ft. Loramie, who had talked to many old residents in town, about the
arrival of the first canal boat in Ft. Loramie. "It stuck in the mud south of town
and was visited by the whole population. Its arrival was hailed with great joy."
'Canal' segment written in
December, 1998 by Rich Wallace
[ Back to Canal Index ]