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I have always been fascinated by the Ohio Canals, built way back in the early 1800's since I was very young. They were built by hand, using shovels & picks by mostly German and Irish immigrants. Two canals were built, The Miami & Erie and The Ohio & Erie canal. Along with the construction of the canals, many lakes were "built" to provide a water source for the canals, along with feeder canals serving various towns. The canal carried both passengers and freight traffic for close to 40 years (1827-1861), and then traffic dropped due to railroad construction. The canal would serve industries for the next fifty years (1863-1913) as a water source. A flood mostly destroyed the canal system in 1913. Many sections of the old canals are preserved as part of the park system. Remnants of the old locks & the canal itself can still be found today. In my gallery pages, you will find many pictures documenting many of the locks and sites that can be seen today...
Ohio & Erie Canal Sites
While I have visited multiple canal sites, some of my favorite are along the great Ohio & Canal. Groundbreaking for this Canal happened way back on July 4th 1825 at the Licking Summit (Heath, Ohio). Remnants of the original lock can be seen today. The following will be a collection of sites that I have visited and am in the process of documenting.
Lock 51 (also known as "outlet lock" is at the terminus of the canal as it enters the Ohio River at Portsmouth. The canal had originaly entered the Ohio River via the Scioto River. This proved to not work very well as the river would fill with silt and needed to be dredged constantly to enable boat traffic. The canal was re-routed and terminated at its present location. This lock extends out into the river about 10 yards and is visible year round (as long as the river is low enough). I visited this site in late August. Parking at the boat ramp in Portsmouth, it is about a mile West along the river bank. If you are going to go, I would wear some heavy hiking boots or have a spare pair of shoes available as you are going to get muddy.
Here is a Sattelite view of this location (This will open a new window): Lock 51