The Tumble January 2019


1. The Hoosier Lottery Plans to Fund a Canal 7. Contributions to CSI Archives
2. Johann Jacob “John” Saxe 8. Old Miami & Erie Canal Photo
3. CSI Locates Wabash & Erie Canal Signage 9. News From Delphi
4. International Geology Society Visits the Forks 10. Ribbon Cutting for Bridge to W&E Canal Dam 1 Site
5. American Canal Society Elects New Officers 11. Additional Pictures of Piqua Tour
6. Directors Meeting 12. CSI Year End Report

The Hoosier Lottery Plans to Fund a Canal

By Bob Schmidt

Great news! Have you purchased your canal lottery ticket? No? The plans are to build a 2.75- mile-long canal at Jeffersonville, Indiana. The tickets are $6.00 each. The lucky draws will receive anywhere from $50 to a grand prize of $20,000.

For those of us who love canals there is but one problem. We all want to buy a ticket, but we are 200 years too late. The Lottery for the Jeffersonville Ohio Canal Company was authorized by the Indiana legislature on January 28, 1818 to fund a short canal around the falls in the Ohio River at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Before we get too far into Indiana’s canal history we need to explore the background of lotteries in general and their use in raising funds for various projects. Games of chance and drawings go all the way back in recorded history. Even the Chinese and Romans conducted lotteries. In more modern times the British used a lottery to help fund the Jamestown colonization in America. They conducted “standing” lotteries like today that continued one after another. In 1620 the Virginia Company that funded Jamestown recorded that £7,000 of the £9,830 for that year came from lotteries. The various lotteries became so common that a cry developed that this was a moral problem where the poor were throwing away their meager funds. In 1621 James I ordered the lotteries to end, but later the English State lottery resurfaced from 1694 until its end in 1826.

In the British Colonies lotteries continued to fund internal improvements, buy military equipment, and even the Continental Congress authorized a lottery to fund the American Revolution. Americans hated taxes, but lotteries were generally seen as an easy way to raise funds. Prizes included land, estates, slaves and other means of disposing of assets that could not be sold at a reasonable price.

There are 3 groups that are required to conduct a lottery. First is the Manager who establishes the prizes, rules, number of tickets and conducts the drawings. Next a group called the Receivers sell the tickets. These could be stores or special brokers, who sell the tickets to the final group called the Adventurers, who buy the tickets. Sometimes tickets were even sold on credit. However, after a drawing it was difficult to collect on tickets that didn’t win a prize, as you might expect.

By the late 19th Century lotteries fell out of favor due to scandals and fraud. But in the 21st Century they have again reemerged as a favorite way to raise capital for projects that would be unpopular for a tax. Today Managers are now state commissions. Receivers are your local service station or convenience store. The Adventurers are still persons seeking to receive a large prize for little money risked. For the time being, the moral issue seems to be set aside.

Indiana’s first effort to build a canal around the falls in the Ohio River on the north side of the river at Jeffersonville began in 1805 with the Indiana Canal Company. Money was raised through private investors, but no construction was performed. The plan was to dam Cain Creek that emptied into the Ohio River near the Indiana Chute, the best route for boats to cross the rapids at spring high water. The Cain Creek dam was to force water into a natural ravine and, with minimum digging to create the 2.75-mile-long canal, the water would reenter the Ohio just below the falls. Indiana was only a territory at this point and so the plan failed. Most regarded this venture with indifference.

On the Louisville side, merchants were making money by transporting goods around the falls, so they really became interested when it appeared that a canal might be built around the falls on the north/Indiana side of the Ohio River. The Kentucky legislature chartered an Ohio Canal Company but only capitalized at $50,000 with about $15,000 being a lottery. This effort was designed as a nuisance rather than a serious plan to build a canal on the south/Kentucky side of the Ohio.

In 1816 Indiana became the 19th State and interest by the 1st governor, Jonathan Jennings, supported an Indiana falls canal. On January 3, 1817, just a month after statehood, the Ohio Canal Company was authorized by the state legislature. The capital stock was to be $1,000,000 with 20,000 shares sold at $50 each. The residents of Cincinnati sided with Indiana, were some of its most enthusiastic supporters and were hoped to provide most of the funds. There was concern, especially in Ohio, that the tolls authorized by the state of Indiana charter were fixed too low. Consequently the sale of stock faltered as Cincinnati capitalists refused to invest. Also, at this time, Kentucky seriously got into the battle for a Louisville canal. The Kentucky Ohio Canal Company was incorporated in 1818.

Several canals were proposed by Indiana and Kentucky to circumvent these falls in the Ohio River between Jeffersonville, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky

On January 28, 1818 Indiana chartered a third venture in the form of the Jeffersonville Ohio Canal Company. This canal’s tolls were to be determined by the new company rather than the State of Indiana. So, with the Colonial background of lotteries, it is not surprising that the Indiana Legislature authorized this company to conduct a lottery for at least some of its funding.

The lottery was to raise $100,000 of the total funds. As for the lottery, 20,000 tickets were offered at $6 each with 6,342 of the tickets to win prizes and the remaining 13,658 tickets of no value. Those who held tickets were to win prizes as follows:  6,000 tickets would pay $6; 200 tickets would pay $50; 100 tickets would pay $100; 20 tickets would pay $500, and so forth until the final grand prize would be $20,000. Congressman William Hendricks also introduced federal legislation for support of this canal, but the bill did not pass Congress.

The Jeffersonville Ohio Canal Company actually broke ground on May 3, 1819 with the appropriate ceremony, speaker and toasts. About one mile of prism was dug from Spring Street in Jeffersonville to the west. After reaching a layer of hard blue clay and Cain Creek Dam failing, worked stopped.

The lottery also was a failure. Drawings began in April 2019 at Jeffersonville, Madison, Cincinnati and other area towns and ended in September 1820. The 2,716 tickets sold should have yielded $16,296, but unfortunately 1,497 tickets were sold on credit. After expenses the Managers only netted $2,536 for the capital fund. Stock subscriptions were somewhat better at $108,650, but after actual canal excavation expenses the treasury held only about $1,000. This canal effort ended with the economic downturn of 1819.

Cincinnati investors soon turned their canal interests to the Whitewater Valley having lost the battle of the Jeffersonville Canal to Kentucky. Again a lottery was used to raise some seed money for the Whitewater Canal.

In January 1825 the Louisville & Portland Canal was organized and the U.S. Government bought 1000 shares in this company. With this support from Washington, the canal around the falls in the Ohio River was completed on the Kentucky side in 1831 for $750,000. In 1872 this canal became federal property as it remains today. It is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Thanks for your desire to buy a canal lottery ticket, but you are just a little too late. Who knows what the future may bring. Every once in a while a community here or there proposes building a canal for tourism or flood control. Maybe the Canal Lottery will rise again.


Fatout, Paul. “Agitation at Ohio Falls,” Indiana Magazine of History, Trustees of Indiana

University, Vol. 57, No. 4, 1961.

Fatout, Paul. Indiana Canals. W. Lafayette, IN/ Purdue University Press, 1972.

Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana, Chicago, IL/ Baskin, Forster & Co., 1876.

Millikan, Neal. “and the Winner Is,” Trend & Tradition, Autumn 2018, p. 80.


Indiana Canal Company


Johann Jacob “John” Saxe

Find-A-Grave #53665642

By Carolyn Schmidt

Note: Various spellings for Saxe (Sachs, Sacks, Sax) were found during this research.

John Saxe was born on March 14, 1842 in Feudenheim, Manhelm, Badin Wurttemberg, Germany to Jacob Saxe, age 24, (1817-March 22, 1875) and Catharine Felt Saxe, age 27, (1815-May 28, 1887). They had 6 children in sixteen years. John’s siblings were:

Caspar Saxe (January 2, 1845-December 31, 1925)

William Saxe (October 10, 1850-1934)

Maria “Mary” Saxe ( July 2, 1853-October 14, 1870)

Barbara Saxe (January 14, 1856-September 2, 1883)

Jacob Saxe (December 15, 1858-1919)

The Jacob Saxe family emigrated from Germany and arrived in the United States in 1852. They were in the process of moving to Monroe, Michigan when their daughter, our subject’s sister, Maria was born in Ohio on July 2, 1853. Their first children were born in Germany, Maria in Ohio, and the rest of their children were born in Monroe, Michigan.

In 1860 John, age 18, was living in Frenchtown, Monroe, Michigan. At age 20, on June 2, 1862 he was confirmed in a special confirmation in Zion Lutheran Church in Monroe.

On April 22, 1869, John, age 27, was married to Anna Elizabeth Rodey (March 23, 1849-April 30, 1921) in Zion Lutheran Church by Pastor August Getz. Witnessing their marriage were August Sachs and Simon Knab.

John and Elizabeth Saxe had four children:

Maria Barbara “Mary” Saxe Shoup Aper (April 1, 18709-1947)

b. Monroe, Michigan

m. Herman Aper of Tippecanoe County

Charles John Saxe (April 19, 1874-1956)

b. Monroe, Michigan

Barbara Kathryn “Kate” Saxe Benefiet-McKinley (December 17, 1878-1919)

b. Monroe, Michigan

Jennie Alice Saxe Erb-Mallery (September 28, 1886-1953)

b. Battleground, Tippecanoe County, Indiana

m. November 26, 1904 Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Her husband was Fred Erb III and their son was Fred Erb IV.

Marker in Battle Ground Cemetery, Battle Ground, Indiana for John, Elizabeth and Barbara Saxe.
                   Photo by RDL

In 1885 John Saxe, age 43, moved his family to Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. There he freighted a canal boat on the Wabash & Erie Canal between Lafayette and Toledo, Ohio. He was an old time canal boat trader and accumulated a considerable fortune in the line before the days of the railroads.

John’s brother, Caspar Saxe, moved to Toledo, Ohio and also freighted on the Wabash and Erie Canal. Perhaps they worked together in this operation.

John Saxe, age 56, died June 2, 1898 and was laid to rest in Block AL, Row 5, Grave 5A in Battle Ground Cemetery, Battel Ground, Tippecanoe County, Indiana.



Correspondence with Nancy Norton, who is the great, great granddaughter of John and Anna Elizabeth Saxe.

DeHart, Richard P. Past and Present of Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen & Company, Publishers, 1909.

Find-A-Grave #53665642

Indian Deaths, 1882-1920

Indiana Select Marriages, 1780-1992

Lafayette, Indiana Directories 1885-88, 1891

  1. S. City Directories, 1821-1989

U.S. Federal Census 1850, 1860, 1900, 1910, 1920

CSI Donates Wabash & Erie Canal Signage

By Carolyn Schmidt

The Canal Society of Indiana has had five, 2 ft. x 4 ft., brown and white signs made by Chip Coburn of CDS Signs in Sharonville, OH near Cincinnati for $500 that will be placed along the route of the Wabash & Erie Canal in southern Indiana.  On October 12, 2018 Bob and Carolyn Schmidt drove from Ft. Wayne to Sharonville to pick up the signs and then delivered them to Oakland City, Indiana where they were met by CSI director, David Kurvach, and Preston Richardt.  The 2 signs David received will be put up in Warrick county along the canal prism and both read “Wabash & Erie Canal 468 miles Toledo to Evansville.”  Preston’s 3 signs will be placed near the Pigeon Reservoir, Culvert 203 at Buck Creek, and at the Patoka River Aqueduct in Gibson county. They read “Wabash & Erie Canal 1000 acres Pigeon Reservoir,” “Wabash &Erie Canal in use  –  Buck Creek Box Culvert #203,” and “ Wabash & Erie Canal Patoka River Aqueduct No. 17.” After receiving the signs they visited Box Culvert #203 where a new bypass culvert has been placed to the east side and above the level of the original wooden culvert that still operates.

The wooden culvert is beneath the water between the two stakes to the right of the new culvert in the first picture and to its left in the second picture. Preston and David are responsible for saving the wooden box culvert, a working remnant of the Wabash & Erie Canal. Hip Hip Hooray!

International Geological Society Visits The Forks

By Tom Castaldi

Huntington, Ind. On November 8, 2018, twelve members of the International Geological Society, who gathered for a conference in Indianapolis, took advantage of a tour of northern Indiana sites.  Included on their tour was a visit at Huntington, Indiana’s Historic Forks of the Wabash park. While the International Geological Society visitors, who came from locations in Indiana as well as from Illinois, Maine, Wisconsin, and Finland enjoyed box lunches, Forks’ Tour Coordinator Donna Hollopeter welcomed them with an informative history of the Park.  Tom Castaldi was on hand to discuss how geological features provided a path for the completion of the Wabash & Erie Canal through present-day Forks of the Wabash Park in 1835 and on to the completion of the canal at the Ohio River in 1853.

American Canal Society Elects New Officers

By Carolyn Schmidt

The American Canal Society’s (ACS) annual directors meeting was held from 3-5 p.m. on Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Express in Akron, Ohio. David Barber, who has served as the ACS president for the past 16 years, asked to resign due to health issues. Through his tenure he has not only led the society, but attended meetings/tours both in North America and abroad, developed an outstanding website with information, maps, and pictures of North American canals that is a great research tool, written articles for American Canals (the society’s quarterly bulletin) and compiled an index of articles found in these bulletins, arranged directors’ meetings, etc. Although resigning as president, he will continue as a director, the ACS webmaster, and chair of the Canal Index Committee. The Canal Society of Indiana thanks him for all his work and support to our society through the years.  Hip Hip Hooray!

The ACS board elected Mike Riley from Port Byron, New York, as the new ACS president. Mike has been an ACS director since 2013. He is secretary of the Canal Society of New York State, Mentz town historian at Port Byron, and president of the Lock 52 Historical Society. Welcome aboard Mike!

Bob Sears term as vice-president of ACS was over. We thank him for all his past work.  Elected to replace him as ACS vice-president was Martha Capwell Fox, director of the Hugh Moore Historical Park. Welcome aboard Martha!

Directors reported on canals in their areas as follows:

Bob Sears has stepped down as president of the Canadian Canal Society.  He passed around a book about the 137 workers who died during the building of the Welland Ship Canal.  It should be published by the spring of 2019. The monument to these workers can be seen in St. Catherines, Canada.

Mike Riley has started a Facebook page for ACS that everyone should click on share to get it spread to their organizations, family and friends.

He said the Port Byron Old Erie Canal Heritage Park visitors’ center is having 15,000 visitors a year since it is along the New York State Thruway and a roadway sign brings them in. His wife, Mary, is the new director. Nearby is the Erie House, which is owned by the Canal Society of New York and manned with volunteers, and Lock 52 of the Erie Canal.

Since the canal was transferred from the Thruway Authority to the Power Authority more safety restrictions have been placed on it. The tug boat Urger is thought unsafe and has been taken out of the water. It may become a permanent display.

Three or more large canal boats, which once served on the Erie Barge Canal, and many smaller ones have been scuttled and a bridge has been demolished to build an artificial reef in Long Island Sound.

Dan Wiles, of Mid-Lake Navigation and president of the Canal Society of New York State, has sold the “Emita II.” She will be on Lake Michigan.

Paul Bartczak said the Buffalo Martime Society is building a replica of DeWitt Clinton’s Seneca Chief.

Larry Turner said the Akron sewer along the Ohio & Erie Canal takes sewage from the south end over the divide.  Water from the north end is sent back over the divide.

The State of Ohio is planning to tear down 6-mile dam. They may save the wing walls of the Walhonding dam. They have offered the Canal Society of Ohio money to put into their website to show the dam and how it operated or to put up electronics at the site that could send a message to a cell phone to give information about the dam that was there.  (Terry Woods interjected that the dam supplied water to the Ohio & Erie Canal and 6 miles of the Walhonding Canal.)

Larry said in the 1830s the Muskinghum River was dammed and the dam is still sound but in need of repair. They had to decide whether to build a towpath or steam boat driven canal.  The canal is larger than a towpath canal.

The Cayahoga Valley National Recreational Area has a new visitors center in Boston, Ohio. It is an old railroad house located across the river from the canal. It will have displays about the Sandy & Beaver Canal. It should be finished this fall.

Bob Schmidt talked about and showed photos of  CSI placing signage in southern Indiana along the route of the Wabash & Erie Canal, at Culvert #203 Buck Creek, at Pigeon Reservoir 1000 acres, and at the Aqueduct #17 Patoka River.

CSI’s news and journal “The Tumble” is now sent to members on-line.

Ball State University students have created and maintain the CSI website.

Instead of brochures, CSI has printed cards with information about its website and a QR code to click on for easy access to the website.

Bob Barth said that a a project to dredge 10.5 miles of the 440-mile-long Delaware and Raritan Canal is costing $45 million and taking several seasons to complete. The canal serves an economic purpose.  It carries 100 million gallons of water a day that is sold by the water company like Indiana’s Central Canal water in the Indianapolis area.

The D&R Canal has a new director and will go back to the original management plan.

Linda Barth is president of the D&R Canal Watch.  The bridge tenders station in Bridgetown has been restored.  $30,000 will be needed to restore the bridge tenders station in East Millstone. They have had 22 activities the past year including hikes, a star watch, and a bi-lingual walk.

A Greenway study of 102 miles of the Morris Canal  is being made by the North Jersey Planning Authority and will be used to try to get grants. They plan to reprint the Morris Canal driving guide.

The Canal Society of New Jersey took over Waterloo Village’s Canal Days several years ago and it grew to 8 heritage days with over 1600 school children visiting the park to receive indepth history. They had difficulty getting enough volunteers to act as docents. Now the state park has taken back ownership and will go back to 1 day. A building is leased for a museum and a barn is leased with a canal boat inside.

The Canal Society of New Jersey is creating a new website.

Mike Morthorst has stepped down as president of the Canal Society of Ohio.  Larry Turner is the new president.

The new dam structure built adjacent the old dam on the lake side at Buckeye Lake in Ohio is almost complete. A new cap is still needed. The lake has been raised to within 1 foot of its normal pool.  Boating is 90% restored.

The Portage Lake dam will have a new dam structure built like the one at Buckeye Lake to provide stabilization. It is a much shorter dam and no houses encroach upon it.

CSI Directors Meeting

By Carolyn Schmidt

Front row: Bob Schmidt (President), Carolyn Schmidt (“The Tumble” Coordinator), Sue Simerman (Secretary), Cynthia Powers (Treasurer), Phyllis Mattheis, Jerry Mattheis, Don Haack Back row: Tom Castaldi, Sam Ligget, Mike Morthorst (Vice-President), Dan McCain, Steve Williams Not pictured: Frank Timmers                                                 Photo by Sue Jesse

Thirteen directors of the Canal Society of Indiana’s Board of Directors and  7 CSI members met at 10 a.m. on October 27, 2018 in the community room of the Aboite Township Trustee’s Office in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for the annual directors meeting. Hosts for the meeting were Phyllis Hess, Sue Jesse and Bob & Carolyn Schmidt

Photos were taken of each director to be put on the CSI website managed by Ball State students. Directors’ short biographies were also turned in.

Bob Schmidt is working closely with Caitlin Smith at Ball State on the canal locator map that has been funded as a memorial to Dick Winchell.  A closer up, more precise route of Indiana’s canals is being prepared.

Tour host/hostesses l to r: Bob Schmidt, Carolyn Schmidt, Sue Jesse, Phyllis Hess                                                            Photo by Frank Timmers

It was announced that membership dues letters would be sent out on November 1, 2018 for 2019.  The dues will remain at $20 per single/family membership. Members are encouraged to become life members by donating $1,000 all at once or in four installments of $250.

David Kurvach and Preston Richardt were thrilled to receive in October the 2 ft. x 4 ft. signs funded by CSI.  They will place them at canal sites on the Wabash & Erie Canal in Warrick and Gibson counties.

This year CSI will fund five more 2 ft. x 4 ft. signs to mark canal dams at Huntington, Lagro, Peru, and Pittsburgh, Indiana and another sign for the Pigeon Creek Reservoir.  Tom Castaldi is making contacts in those towns for placement of the signs.  The signs are $100 each and are made near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Not Pictured:

Terry Bodine

John Hilman

Jeff Koehler

David Kurvach

Frank Timmers

Directors reported on the canal or canal events that have taken place or will happen in or around their area. It is always interesting to learn what others are doing and get ideas to use to promote canal history. They also reviewed a summary of the past year’s canal activities of directors and other CSI members.

The CSI Spring Tour will be May 3-5, 2019 on the Whitewater Canal. CSI members have been E-mailed an announcement and will find our more about it in upcoming issues of “The Tumble.” Registration forms will be E-mailed.

The 2019 Directors Meeting will be held in Delphi, Indiana at the Canal Interpretive Center on October 26, 2019. Dan McCain is the host.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m. Thanks to everyone who helped with cleaning up the facility.

Contributions to CSI Archives

Linda Winchell has donated her late husband’s (Dick Winchell) collections of canal related material.  We thank her for the following:

2 canal videos:

“Indiana’s Canal Heritage”

“The Wabash & Erie Canal Where Frogs Their Vigil Keep”

2 hard cover canal books:

Clark, Andrew, The Wabash and Erie Canal: The Lower Divisions

Fatout, Paul, Indiana Canals

27 soft cover canal books including:

Bakken, Darrell Now That Time Has Had Its Say: A History of the Indianapolis Central

          Canal, 1835-2002

Black, Harry,  The Miami, Wabash, and Erie Canal Country

Castaldi, Tom, Wabash & Erie Canal Notebooks: I, II and III (2 copies)

Townsend, Leslie, Indiana’s Ohio River Scenic Byway

Woods, Terry, The Ohio & Erie Canal: A Glossary of Terms

     Woods, Terry, Twenty Five Miles to Nowhere

23 comb bound guide books from previous CSI tours

Past issues of “The Hoosier Packet,” the news and journal of CSI 2001-2016

Twenty copies of “Indiana Canals,” the journal of the Canal Society of Indiana

Past Issues of “Indiana Waterways,” early CSI publication by Julia Meek

Canal Maps

Topographic maps with canals on them

Miscellaneous brochures

Old Miami & Erie Canal Photo

Neil Sowards, CSI member from Ft. Wayne, is always looking for old canal photos. He recently found this one he had not seen before.  It is the Miami & Erie Canal in Dayton, Ohio with the Dayton Carpet Cleaning & Upholstering Co. to the right of the bridge over the canal. It appears to be a turn bridge with a locktenders house.  Carolyn Schmidt, coordinator for “The Tumble,” asked Terry Woods, CSI member from Canton, Ohio, if he knew what street passed over the bridge. Terry then asked Dave Neuhardt and Ron Petrie about the bridge.

Dave Neuhardt found another photo showing the bridge that carried Taylor street over the canal. He said the bridge was across the Miami & Erie Canal (more specifically, the Basin Extension Canal) near downtown Dayton. He believes its original is in the Lutzenberger photo collection at the Dayton Metro Library where it is dated 1911 and was probably taken as part of a photo inventory of Dayton bridges. His picture didn’t seem to have any swing mechanism. He believes that this may have something to do with the collapse of the Miami River aqueduct north of Dayton in 1903. The replacement for the Miami River aqueduct was not finished until 1912 just before the 1913 flood. As a result there was no water in the canal through north Dayton for 9 years down to the lower end of the Mad River aqueduct lock on the south side of Mad River (where the Mad River feeder entered the canal). Taylor street is just a little west of the aqueduct lock, on the line of the Basin Extension Canal, and there would have been very little reason during that 9 years for boats to travel through that section of the canal, because it effectively came to a dead end at the aqueduct lock. He believes that what canal traffic there still was mostly stopped at the Dayton basin and probably had little reason to enter the old Basin Extension Canal, as that was by then a “modern” industrial area served by rail.

Dave suspects that by the time his 1911 Taylor Street bridge photo was taken, the bridge had been rebuilt without the swing/bump mechanism. Dayton had had a history of being very aggressive, as far back as the 1870s, in “lowering” its bridges across the other “feeder” branch of the canal through Dayton (before it was authorized by the state—they had to get General Assembly authorization after-the-fact), so they may have done the same here.

Through further research, Dave found another photo of the Taylor Street bridge (also from the Dayton Metro library collection).  This photo shows the bridge looking east like the one Neil Sowards found. This picture shows no (or very little) water in the canal. Although you can’t see clearly, there may be a turning mechanism under the bridge on the right side.

Dave sent this snip from the 1916 canal plat map that gives further information.  It labels the bridge as “swing bridge” and labels the little building visible in Neil’s photo as “Bridge Tenders House.” Dave supposes that if there was a bridge tender, the bridge was one that required some sort of manual turning, maybe with one of those gigantic wrenches you sometimes see I photos of canal bridge tenders.  If it truly was still a swing bridge in 1916, after the 1913 flood, then Dave says his theory about the city of Dayton having made it a fixed bridge is just so much more “fake news.”

Terry Woods says in his experience the 1916 plats were merely copied from previous plats with little effort to interpret any changes. The fact that the 1916 plat calls it a swing bridge probably means only that it was —when the survey was originally taken—possibly as early as the 1890s.


Text and photos by Dan McCain

Face Lift for Trail Bridge

At the east edge of Delphi, Indiana, the old railroad bridge, which carries Delphi’s Monon High Bridge Trail over County Road 300 N very near the Freedom Bridge and Heartland Highway, has been painted red and ultimately will have a cream-colored, large-lettered inlay that will spell out Monon High Bridge Trail. Funding for the project was obtained from the Tippecanoe Arts Federation (TAF) utilizing funding supplied by North Central Health Services (NCHS) for a grant of $43,530.  When completed the colors will be the historical  Monon Railroad’s passenger train colors of “cream and crimson” accented with gray on the concrete abutments.

Canal Park Receives Endowment & Reaches Goal

BIG NEWS !!  The final settlement of the Joan and Richard McCain estate netted over $1,700,000 to the Canal’s Endowment Fund.  Dan McCain (center), President of the Canal Board attended this funding released to the Carroll County Community Foundation.  The Foundation will administer the annual release of interest accumulations.  This bequeath completed the Canal’s goal set in 2014 of garnering a two million dollar endowment in ten years.  This beats the goal by six years and we are still adding to the fund.  Other non-profit organizations netting Community Foundation endowment funding represented by this large check were YMCA Camp Tecumseh and the Kokomo Rescue Mission.

Log Building Donated to Canal Park

A log building coming to Canal Park was donated by Janet and Ron Isreal and their son Tony.  This lakeside home wasn’t serviceable anymore. Its owners desired for it to be reused and not destroyed.

This structure was made from round timbers that came from the supports of a highway bridge over the Wabash River in Pittsburg, Indiana that was dismantled in the 1920s.  Soon after the timbers were used for the walls of this building.  In October 2018 they were salvaged along with usable dimensional lumber by the  men who volunteer every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and are known as Canal Park’s  M-W-F crew.

Stockpiling these logs for nearby Canal Park’s reuse found that most logs were still sound, but some had ends that were softening. To be reused all logs will have the ends cut off and notches remade.  This will make the repurposed building’s overall length and width slightly smaller.

Al Auffart and Mac Carlisle as M-W-F crew members  “cleaned” nails from many used boards that will be repurposed in a new building coming to Canal Park.

Another Log Structure Donated

The Monday-Wednesday-Friday volunteers went to pick up this little log building that was donated by Denny and Martha Lewis.  Their need for finishing this structure as a playhouse diminished and the decision was to donate it to the Canal.  It will be marked with the name of Martha’s mother Neda Coghill Bushman, one of Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal Association’s earlier board members who has passed away.

Ribbon Cutting for Bridge to W&E Canal Dam 1 Site

By Tom Castaldi

Huntington, Indiana. Saturday, October 13th over 50 people gathered at the Historic Forks of the Wabash on the park’s westbound Towpath Trail to witness the ribbon cutting for the opening of the footbridge to Ehlers Island.  The island surrounded by the Wabash River is now accessible for a camping and walking pathway adventure.  For the explorers interested in canal sites, hikers can visit a place where once was constructed Wabash & Erie Canal Wabash Dam No. 1.  It dates back to the year 1835 when the canal first opened for canal boat navigation in this area  The dam’s foundation timbers are visible on the bed of the Wabash River when the water is at low levels and running clear.

Pictured are Emcee Jim Hollar, Forks of Wabash Board member.  Behind Jime are Larry Buzzard, Huntington County Commissioner, and Dave Hacker, Chief Coordinator. Unseen behind Jim is  Liz Sanders, Forks of Wabash Board President.

Photo by Tom Castaldi

Additional Pictures of Piqua Tour

CSI Headquarters received additional pictures from Sue Simerman after the article about the CSI tour “Over the Summit” held October 5-7, 2018 was put on line. The first photo is of Big Lock 1S at Lockington, the second if of the “Belle of St. Marys” with a towing horse in St. Marys, and the third shows CSI members aboard the “General Harrison” at Piqua. The last two were taken on Sunday after the tour and may not have been seen by tour participants.  They show a painting of the “General Harrison” in the mall adjacent to the Comfort Inn in Piqua and Lock 5S that is located just before the aqueduct at Lockington. It has wooden supports placed inside it just like Lock 1S had before it was rebuilt.

Andy Hite addressed canawlers at Big Lock. Canal Boat H. W. Myers approaching the Lower Lock in Spencerville on the Miami & Erie Canal taken in the museum.  Canawlers boarding the General Harrison in Piqua.  Lock #8S of the M&E Canal in Piqua.

CSI Member Jerry Lehman also sent the following photos:




President Bob Schmidt Ft. Wayne, IN (260) 432-0279
Vice-President Mike Morthorst Cincinnati, OH
Secretary Sue Simerman Ossian, IN
Treasurer Cynthia Powers Roanoke, IN
Tumble Coordinator Carolyn Schmidt Ft. Wayne, IN


Tom Castaldi Ft. Wayne
Don Haack Ft. Wayne
Jeff Koehler Center Point
Sam Ligget Terre Haute
Mike Morthorst Cincinnati
Bob Schmidt Ft. Wayne


Dan McCain Delphi
Jerry Mattheis Cambridge City
David Kurvach Newburgh
Carolyn Schmidt Ft. Wayne
Frank Timmers Carmel
Steve Williams Roanoke


Terry Bodine Covington
John Hillman W. Harrison
Phyllis Mattheis Cambridge City
Cynthia Powers Roanoke
Sue Simerman Ossian

Directors are elected for 3 year terms. One third of the directors are up for reelection every year.  Officers are elected by the directors.


Kreig Adkins Peru
Paul Baudendistel Metamora
Frances French Lafayette
Ralph Gray Indianapolis
Chuck Huppert Silver Spring, MD
Jim Hicks Brazil
Jerry Lehman Terre Haute
Craig Leonard Bluffton
Mike McCormick Terre Haute
Stan Schmitt Evansville
Ellsworth Smith Leo
Chuck Whiting Lawrenceburg


    • Assisted students, authors and genealogists in canal research
    • Board meeting: October  27 Aboite Township Trustee’s Office
    • Host: Schmidts   13 Directors,    7 Guests
    • Online: Canal Society of Indiana website:
    • Canal Society of Indiana Facebook page
  • Subscribed to


Terry Bodine – Covington

Tom Castaldi  – Ft. Wayne

Don Haack –  Ft. Wayne

John Hillman – West Harrison

Sam Ligget – Terre Haute

Jeff Koehler –  Center Point

David Kurvach –  Newburgh

Dan McCain  – Delphi

Gerald Mattheis –  Cambridge City

Phyllis Mattheis – Cambridge City

Mike Morthorst –  Cincinnati, OH, Vice-President

Cynthia Powers –  Roanoke, Treasurer

Bob Schmidt –  Ft. Wayne, President

Carolyn Schmidt –  Ft. Wayne, “The Tumble”

Sue Simerman  – Ossian,  Secretary

Brian Stirm –  Delphi

Frank Timmers – Carmel

Steve Williams –  Roanoke


These men receive and answer numerous phone, E-mail and posted messages from persons seeking information that may involve canal business or those who built Indiana’s canals.

Allen Co.    Thomas Castaldi

Carroll Co.  Mark Smith

Clay Co.     Jeffrey Koehler

Miami Co.  Kreig Adkins

Wells Co.   Craig Leonard

Vigo Co.     Mike McCormick

New Memberships

Disbro, Nancy & Jerry Anderson –  Markle, IN

Ferris, Gary & Casandra  – Ft. Wayne, IN

Gooch, Susie – Fishers, IN

Sampson, Tim – Restin, VA

Speakers Bureau (talking about Indiana’s canals and promoting CSI)

Date #  of people Event Presenter/s
Feb. 20, 2018 15 Clay Co. Genealogical society/ Cross Cut Canal Jeff Koehler
New York Erie Canal Symposium Dan McCain


CSI Archives

Badger, David and Marilyn donated “Ohio’s Canals,” copy of a booklet printed by the Allen County/Fort Wayne Public Library

Linn Loomis  Folio of 21 pictures of Munroe Basin of the Ohio & Erie Canal in Muskingum County near Adams Mills, “State looking to remove dam on Walhonding River,” “New ice jam monitored on Muskingum River,” “Colorful figures and stories of the Ohio & Erie Canal, “ “Born on a Canal Boat, Captain Pearl R. Nye (1872-1950),” “Lost drawings of the Ohio and Erie Canal surface after 190 years”

Plus 5 articles about the Longaberger Basket Company

Canal Locator Fund in memory of Dick Winchell

Paul D. Wilson, El Paso, TX

DOCENTS OR ACTIVITIES (Relating to or promoting Indiana’s or other canals)

Anderson, Jerry Attended CSI “Up & Over” tour

Bandstra, Arnie  Photos of rewatering I&M Canal at Ottawa, IL

Barth, Bob  Attended “Over the Summit” tour

Bauer, Carl & Barbara Became CSI Life Members, Attended CSI “Over the Summit” tour, Donated photos of Piqua tour for use in “The Tumble”

Black, Karl & Demi Attended “Up & Over tour, Attended “Over the Summit” tour

Bodine, Terry Anne and I displayed the Gronauer Lock timber at the Illiana Antique Power Show in July and at the History Day in September for fourth grade students at the show ground in Rainsville, Indiana. This year there were over 430 children from surrounding schools. The model canal boat I buil I donated to Delphi Canal Park where it is now a permanent display.  It is in a new exhibit they have put together to show how weights and tolls were charged on goods being hauled on boats on the canal.  My son, grandson and I have built about 3/4 mile of railroad track at our property that is big enough to ride on.  This includes a “Howe Truss bridge” and trestle that spans a ditch.  The project has taken all of our spare time and is not finished. We plan to build a Round House and Turntable next spring.  We were coming home late one night and driving past the Canal Lock sign in Covington, Indiana. There was a man stranding by it holding a flash light and reading the information on the back side of it.

Brandenburg, Paul Attended “Up & Over” tour

Castaldi, Linda  Sold canal books at the CSI “Up & Over” tour, Attended the “Up & Over” tour and the “Over the Summit” tour,

Castaldi, Tom  October 3, 2018 Report

Indiana County Historian Program

Allen County – Tom Castaldi

Books read: Canals and American Economic Development, by Carter Goodrich, Julius Rubin, H. Jerome Cranmer, Harvey H. Segal, New York and London: Columbia University Press. 1961.  Christopher Moore, Early Pioneers of Carroll County, Indiana, Univ. of Indianapolis: Indianapolis. 2018. Andrew Olson III,  Tracking Political Career David Kilgore Across Pioneer Indiana, self published. 2002.  Michael Medved, The American Miracle, Penguin Random House: New York. 2016

Presentation: May 9, 2018 made to meeting of Geography Educators’ Network of Indiana, Inc. at the Boy Scouts Fort Wayne Indiana office.

Donations: Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series to Little River Wetlands library.

Tumble articles:   March 2018: Earliest Rails in Fort Wayne.

May 2018:  The Landing and Columbia Street (in Fort Wayne)

September 2018: Sail on Sail on and the Wabash Erie Canal.

Drafting Tumble article regarding stone locks in Wabash County

CSI Spring Tour: April 13 – 14, 2018 Up and Over Tour Indiana Canal Society Spring Tour planner and docent.

Radio Broadcasts: Northeast Indiana Public Radio WBOI FM 89.1 On the Heritage Trail includes

commenting on the influence of the Wabash & Erie Canal.

WSAL 1230 AM Radio Logansport, Ind.  Interview with discussions including canals.

WICR 88.7 FM, Nelson Price’s Hoosier History Live, with co-guest Randy Harter discussing how the canal led to the successes Fort Wayne is now experiencing.

Magazines: Fort Wayne Magazine, September 2018 issue “15 Historical Moments in the Establishment of Fort Wayne” in support of the magazines 15th anniversary publishing. In chronological order Canal Ground   Breaking on February 22, 1832.

Indiana Historical Society’s on-line magazine review of CSI’s 2018 Spring Tour

Blogs: Indiana History Bureau blogsite often make references to Indiana’s Canals.

Indiana Organizations: worked with organizations such as Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal Association’s museum Archive Committee; Conner Prairie pioneer transportation in early Indiana; Wabash River Trail at Lagro and Lock 14 as well as continuation of the Trail through Forks of the Wabash Towpath Trail.

Pictures of canal sites:  Several views of Wabash Erie Canal’s Kerr Lock 14.

What is happening to canal related sites in your area: Albeit not my area I have noticed that west of Logansport and approaching Fitch’s Glen a dirt road has been cut and may have disrupted a portion of the towpath.  Also, west of Wabash, Ind., a gravel mining operation has totally decimated Fisher Lock No. 17.

Disbro, Nancy Attended “Up & Over” tour

Ferris, Gary & Cassandra  Attended “Up & Over” tour

Goughnour, Tom Attended “Over the Summit” tour

Haack, Don & Betty Attended “Up & Over” tour, Attended “Over the Summit” tour, Wrote article “Northwest Ohio Tourist Gems”

Hess, Phyllis  Helped with refreshments for the CSI “Up & Over” tour, Picked up and served CSI Directors lunch at Board Meeting

Hillman, John Helped with contact for canal signs in Warrick & Gibson counties and information on mounting them, Worked with CSI on planning spring 2019 tour with train ride

Hite, Andy Planned, wrote tour guide, led tour and spoke at CSI’s “Over the Summit” tour

Hulslander, Gerald  Wrote “Illinois & Michigan Canal Lock Excavation,” Sent information about rewatering I&M Canal at Ottawa,

Jesse, Sue  Ordered cup cakes, helped with refreshments and attended CSI “Up & Over” tour, Attended the CSI “Over the Summit” tour, Picked up and served CSI Directors lunch at Board Meeting

Koehler, Jeff  Spoke to the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society November 2017 with 80 attending and the Scott County Historical Society’s annual dinner in March 2018 with 50 attending.  Both were about the canal.  In 2019 to speak at the Wabash Valley Genealogical Society in January about the Interurban and at the Plainfield library in February about the Interurban and there again in March about the canal.

Kurvach, David  Wrote “Gibson County Wabash & Erie Canal Tour”

Lehman, Jerry & Barbara  Attended “Up & Over” tour, Attended “Over the Summit” tour

Ligget, Sam Wrote “Anguilla,” “Luxury Apartments on the Wabash & Erie Canal,” Made several trips  to locations on the Wabash & Erie Canal in Terre Haute and consulted with several people for one article, Attended CSI “Up & Over” tour

Ligget, Jo Wrote “Koehler Speak to Wabash Valley Genealogy Society,” “Luxury Apartments on the Wabash & Erie Canal,” Attended CSI “Up & Over” tour,

Loomis, Linn Sent in article about Captain Pearl R. Nye (1872-1950)

McCain, Dan  Provided story and pictures for “Organ for Restored Lutheran Church,” “Canal Association Receives Grant,” “New to the Canal Interpretive Center,” “Hadley Visits Loom House,” “469 Mile Club,” “New Railroad/Canal Boat Display,” “Case House Domestic Quarters Completed,” “Volunteers Make the Difference,” “News From Delphi,”  “McCain Speaks to New York Erie Canal Symposium,” “Delphi’s Canal Park Festival & Updates,” Attended “Up & Over” tour

Mattheis, Jerry Attended CSI “Over the Summit” tour

Mattheis, Phyllis  Sent in article “Canal House in Connersville,” “Whitewater Canal Byway Association,” Attended CSI “Over the Summit” tour

Morthorst, Mike  Wrote “The Proposed Canal That will Not Die,” Served as CSI vice president, Attended CSI’s “Up & Over” and “Over the Summit” tours,

Morthorst, Tom Attended “Up & Over” tour, Attended “Over the Summit” tour

Powers, Cynthia Paid bills as CSI Treasurer, Wrote “Birding Along the Towpath Trail,”and “Governor Samuel Bigger and his Canal Connection,” Rode on “Sweet Breeze” canal boat in Ft. Wayne

Richardt, Preston  Planned and led Gibson County Wabash & Erie Canal Tour

Schmidt, Bob Wrote “Determining Tolls,” “Canal Used for Defense: Morgan’s Raid,” “Canal Boats and the Civil War,” “Henry Clay Moore (1813-1889),” “Canal Rewatered at Ottawa,” Ordered bus and meals for CSI’s “Up & Over”tour, Wrote CSI financial report, Arranged to have signs made and picked up and delivered to the Wabash & Erie Canal in Warrick county, Indiana, Set up CSI Board of Directors meeting

Schmidt, Carolyn  Wrote “Oswego Canal Rehabilitation,” “Fairfield Home Demolished,” “CSI Annual Directors Meeting at Fishers,” “James Tillery Moffatt: Canal Trustee Wanna-Be,” “Welcome Aboard Cate,” “Canal Locator Project,” “Whitewater Canal Metamora,” “William H. Stedman,” “Canal Used for Defense: Morgan’s Raid,” “The Landing in Fort Wayne,” “Buckeye Lake Property Owners Receive Letter,”  “Duck Creek Aqueduct Repair Continues,” “Spirit of the Byway Award,” “Jeffboat to Close,” “Thomas Armstrong Morris,” “We Went “Up and Over,’” “Gateway Park and Depot Flooded,” “Earlier Restoration of Duck Creek Aqueduct,” “Petersburg Canal Marker,” “Blacksmiths on the Canal: Nathaniel Fitch, Jr.;” Sent tour registration forms, got refreshments, and made goodie bags for CSI tours; Ordered meals for CSI Directors at Board Meeting

Sears, Bob  Attended “Up & Over” tour

Shelden, Kay Attended “Up & Over” tour

Simerman, Steve  Attended CSI “Up & Over” tour, Attended CSO “Ohio & Erie and Walhonding Canals” tour, Attended CSI “Over the Summit” tour

Simerman, Sue  Kept minutes of CSI meetings; Chaired nominating committee for CSI directors; Wrote “Landsford Canal: A South Carolina State Park,” “Mules,”  and “Canal Society of Ohio Spring Tour—April 20-22, 2018—Ohio & Erie And Walhonding Canals, Roscoe Village and Coshocton, Ohio;”  Visited Delphos Miami & Erie Canal Park; Visited Metamora to see reconstruction work on Duck Creek Aqueduct; Attended CSI “Up & Over” tour; Attended CSI “Over the Summit” tou

Sowards, Neil  Found letter concerning W&E Canal and Fur Trading on E-bay,  Found old postcards with scenes along Ohio’s canals on E-bay, Found other canal related items on E-bay

Spark, Sherry  Attended “Up & Over” tour

Stirm, Brian Downtown Delphi has enjoyed a year of being done. The streets have been repaved with attractive angle parking and paving stones in place on the walkways. The stellar look is now an open invitation to come and visit. The Delphi Opera House on Washington Street has completed the third season of first line performances of stage plays and music. Several new downtown restaurants serve great menus for your dining pleasure before or after the shows. As the festival list grows, a concerted effort to tie downtown with the Wabash and Erie Canal Park has occurred. During events such as the Indiana Bacon Festival, August 25 2018, the Delphi and Wabash Valley Traction Company Interurban Trolley has provided transportation to those downtown who also want to experience Canal era history by touring Canal Park’s historic village or taking a narrated ride on the replica canal boat “Delphi”. The Bacon Festival this year featured Little Texas as the headline band, a hog calling contest and the ever-popular bacon cook-off. This festival grows each year with over 5000 people in attendance.

The annual Carroll County Wabash and Erie Canal Association’s big event as always is Canal Days over July 4 weekend, which occurred this year July 7th, and 8th. Again featured this year were two prized oxen, Percy and Carter, who traveled from the Promised Land Farms of Thorntown, Indiana to Canal Park for the viewing pleasure of all. An additional event this year was the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the opening of the canal from Delphi to Lake Erie. Also highlighted was the restoration of the 1880’s post office from Sleeth, Indiana, which is located down by the Leiters Ford railroad station. The Delphi and Wabash Valley Interurban Trolley gave over 5 tours both days of Canal Park from the Red Bridge Settlement to the railroad station.

The next upcoming event is “Christmas at the Canal” on December 1st of 2018.

Also this year the 468 club has grown. This club whose members are special members of the Canal Association donate $468 each year for the support of canal park projects. There are now many canalers who have taken this pledge as charter members of the club.

On June 2nd of 2018 Brian Stirm and the Interurban Trolley conducted a historic driving tour from Delphi to Monticello that followed a long distance of the Wabash and Erie Canal through Carrollton. Following the Trolley and in phone conference connection was a group of Packard automobiles. This event was a test run for the National Packard Auto Club annual convention, which will occur next year in July of 2019. During the actual upcoming tour, perhaps as many as 30 Packard automobiles will traverse this historic route culminating in a stop at Canal Park for lunch and multiple canal boat rides. As part of the event, I am writing a driving tour guide to assist the cars to successfully drive the route. This tour guide booklet about traveling the canal towpath in Carroll County could be put in The Tumble.

Wrote article “Wabash & Erie and Whitewater Canals in Indiana and Their Connections to Indiana Railroads”

Timmers, Frank & Mary  Attended “Over the Summit” tour

Toops, Earl &Marylynn Attended “Up & Over” tour

Williams, Steve Arranged for bus parking at Roanoke Heritage Center