Monday, December 10, 2012

Unusual Structure

View of the Maumee River from the
Buckeye Trail in Napoleon, Oho
You can be alerted by email every time a new article is posted on this web site. Enter your email address under the phrase, " Follow us by Email" to the right of this article. Also join us on Facebook and share you photos taken while walking the Buckeye Trail through Henry County, Ohio. Clicking on, "Like us on Facebook" at the top right side of this web site I spotted an unusual structure while walking the Buckeye Trail between Meyerholtz Park and Ritter Park in Napoleon, Ohio.
Top View from the Buckeye Trail
Structure includes stone, cement,
nuts, bolts, and washers
The stone and cement structure is on the canal side of the trail. When was it constructed?  What purpose did this serve?  Who built it? The canal was in use from 1843 until 1913.  Wabash and Erie Canal began operation from the Ohio River (through Indiana and Ohio) to Lake Erie in the summer of 1843.  In 1828 the Indiana General  Assembly approved the borrowing of $200,000 to begin construction. Construction on this canal began in 1832.
The Erie Canal, running through the state of New York, created the first demand for cement to be imported to the US.  The first recorded shipment of Portland Cement to the US was in 1886.  In 1871 the first Portland Cement Plant was established in Coplay, Pennsylvania.  Cement was used to construct a lock near Defiance, Ohio in 1906. Before that time many of the locks were constructed of stone or wood.

Note the indentation down the right side
I can not find pictures or articles about this structure in books and    articles discussing canal construction. The Miami and Erie Canal joined the joined the Wabash and Erie Canal  at Junction, Ohio (just south of Defiance, Ohio) after the Wabash and  Erie canal was in operation.

The e-Book, Canal Fever, by Lynn Metzger described how the, "Ohio 
State Legislature had secured permission to link up with (and essentially appropriate) a segment of Indiana's existing "Wabash and Erie Canal" from Junction, Ohio to Toledo.
A good look at the bolt, washer, and nut assembly.
The last eighty-six miles completed the Miami and Erie Canal without digging more dirt.  The Ohio Board of Public Works proclaimed, "for the sake of convenience," the resulting composite waterway would be call the Miami and Erie Canal." The Miami and Erie Canal was completed thirteen years after  the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal in Eastern Ohio. Looking across the canal.  No such structure can be seen on the other  side of the canal.

I find it interesting that formal education for civilian engineers  was unknown in the United States when the canals were built in Ohio. People in charge of building the Ohio canals prepared themselves by apprenticing on New York’s Erie Canal.

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Article and Photos submitted by Bob Morrison, Napoleon, Ohio.