|Benien Creek Culvert near County Road 15-C|
In order to accomplish this, the Culverts had to be built over streams and low-lying drainage areas during construction of the canal. Stone was brought from a quarry near Grand Rapids Ohio on the Muamee River by poled flat boats and then by horse and wagon to the building sites. A heavy timber form was constructed before stone could be laid. The stone was cut on site and placed over the wood form one section at a time. No cement was used in the construction of the culverts. It was cut (or finished) so accurately that few leaks occurred. Keystones were dropped in place at the top of the structure before the wood form was dismantled and reconstructed for the next section of stonework. These graceful arched stone culverts were an amazing feat of engineering even by today's standards, let alone the standards in the middle 1800's!
|Culvert at Ritter Park, Napoleon|
An informal count revealed around six stone culverts in Henry County. Benien Creek near Road 15C, Garrett Creek in Ritter Park, Oberhaus Creek near Tullock's Marina, North Turkeyfoot and Dry Creek in Mary Jane Thurston State Park, and finally Bad Creek in Texas. The culvert in Texas at Bad creek is unique because it has a double arch instead of the normal single arch used throughout the M & E Canal. Also the builder of the Bad Creek culvert was so proud of his culvert he built a small monument to himself on the towpath.
|Bad Creek Culvert, Texas, Ohio featuring double arches|
These graceful arched stone culverts used stones that were cut by hand, and were constructed by hand in the middle 1800's. While hiking on the trail, catching a glimpse of these amazing structures will make you contemplate the complex nature of what technology and technique went into the contrruction of not only the canal, but these culverts which went underneath as well! All this in the middle 1800's!!
|Durbin Monument, Texas, Ohio|