Lock 15 South on the Miami & Erie Canal - Tipp City, Ohio
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bluejacket01
N 39° 57.706 W 084° 10.053
16S E 741929 N 4427356
Quick Description: Known as the 'Tippecanoe lock', lock 15 is located in a city park in Tipp City. Nearby can be found a replica canal boat and a mill building once powered by the canal.
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 10/26/2013 2:36:27 PM
Waymark Code: WMJBV8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
Views: 4

Long Description:
From a sign on a tree: Canals were an integral part of the early settlement of the Ohio frontier. The Miami Erie Canal, part of by which (sic) you now stand, was built in the 1830s and connected Cincinnati with Toledo – a distance of 250 miles. The canal era (1825-1850) brought about the first big boon to the agricultural, industrial, and urban development of Ohio.

The construction of 813 miles of canal must have been a Herculean task indeed. Financed by wealthy New Englanders, the canal was excavated by immigrants of German and Irish origin. When completed, the stubby horse-drawn barges traveled at a speed of 3 miles an hour, making the trip from Cincinnati to Toledo in three days.

Although canals were instrumental in the early cultural development of Ohio, the advent of the faster more efficient steam locomotive quickly brought about the canals ultimate demise. Many sections of the Ohio canals have been destroyed. The remaining sections are important landscape features and worthy of preservation for they offer prime wildlife habitat and add a touch of cultural history to the diverse Ohio landscape.

Ohio Historical Society sign:
This section of the Miami and Erie Canal, constructed from 1833-1837, was vital to this region’s commerce and development. It allowed for farmers and businesses to get their goods to larger markets at a lower cost and faster speed than by hauling overland. Passengers could also travel across the area by canal boat. John Clark saw the location of Lock 15, situated in Monroe Township at the junction of the Milton-Carlisle Pike (Main Street) as an opportunity and in 1840, platted the new town of Tippecanoe City (now Tipp City). Many types of commerce and trade grew up around the canal including boarding houses, saloons, a tannery and a mill. Some of the original buildings still stand, such as a mill to the west of Lock 15, John Clark’s home at the southeast corner of Main and First streets, and the hotel at the northeast corner of Main and Second streets. (continued on other side)

Travel on the Miami and Erie Canal was limited to four miles per hour for boats pulled by mules in order to prevent boat wash from eroding the clay banks of the canals. A system of locks allowed a canal boat to be raised or lowered, depending on the direction the boat was traveling. Constructed of limestone blocks, Lock 15 is typical of most Miami and Erie Canal locks. Large wooden gates were located on each end of the lock. A boat would enter the lock and the gate behind it would close, while the opposite gate would open, allowing the water level to be raised or lowered before the boat could proceed to its next stop. The advent of the railroad was the beginning of the end for the canal system. Due to extensive damage, most of the Miami and Erie Canal was abandoned following the Great Flood of 1913.

The Miami & Erie Canal was in full operation roughly from 1845 to 1913. Details about the Miami & Erie Canal can be found at the web sites of the Canal Society of Ohio and the American Canal Society (also listed below). Wikipedia contains a good summary of the canal's history, and a number of interesting links, including plat maps of the canal arranged by county.
Waterway Name: The Miami & Erie Canal

Connected Points:
Connected Lake Erie to the Ohio River, from Toledo to Cincinnati, Ohio; for a distance of 200 miles

Type: Lock

Date Opened: 7/1/1845

Date Closed (if applicable): 7/1/1906

Elevation Difference (meters): 2.00

Site Status: Inactive

Web Site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
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stevepre2 visited Lock 15 South on the Miami & Erie Canal - Tipp City, Ohio 9/10/2014 stevepre2 visited it