The Tumble January 2020



1. Culvert Found in Pike County 9. Austin Moves West By Canal Boat
2. Missionaries On The Canal 10. Canal Saint-Martin
3. Riley W & E Canal Marker Placed 11. Laurel Feeder Dam Trail
4. Peru Feeder Dam 3 Sign Mounted 12. Leopard Frogs* Once Used for Pregnancy Tests
5. Aqueduct 17 Sign Erected in Gibson County 13. In Memoriam
6. Refuge Appreciation Day 2019 14. CSI Directors Meeting
7. Signs Picked Up and Delivered 15. CSI Year End Report – 2018
8. Migliore Visits Neptune’s Staircase

Culvert Found in Pike County

On October 15, 2019, CSI member Preston Richardt was driving through Petersburg, Indiana, and decided to pay an acquaintance a visit in regards to the Wabash and Erie Canal that ran through the back portion of his farm. A claim was made that a culvert was still in use in the area; but before we get to far ahead in our story lets go back in time.

CSI member Preston Richardt is an amateur historian who lives in Gibson County and has studied the Wabash and Erie Canal since about the year 2000. He grew up in Warrick County hearing stories of the “old canal” east of his hometown of Elberfeld; Preston states, “like many Hoosiers I knew that it was there and some local lore about it but nothing concrete.” Preston did not study the canal in earnest until fellow CSI Board Member Dave Kurvach began asking questions about the canal and its location through Warrick County. It was at this point that the two made it a goal to map the canal and photograph as much of it as possible before it was lost. Dave began in Warrick County while Preston began researching Gibson County. Since that time the two have been able to GPS locate much of the canal path through these two counties and have located many structures’ previous locations. Some of them are still visible today.

Preston decided in early 2018 that, since Gibson County was mostly mapped and many of its features located, Pike County was the next logical location to continue his research and endeavors. In late winter Preston began his search of the canal in Pike County. With a basic idea of the canal’s path Preston visited the public library and the courthouse for records before exploring some known and some suspected locations of canal sites. “I strongly believe in obtaining permission to property prior to entry and that is what I was doing on that day as well,” Preston stated.

A section of the canal is known to traverse north and east of Petersburg prior to crossing the White River. But being unable to identify the canal’s location west and north of town, which has since been located and documented, Preston began looking at maps and talking to locals. They told him to talk to a local farmer who owned a large portion of the farmland north of town.

Preston went to the farm of Christopher Rudolph to inquire if he knew anything about the location of the canal that may or may not have been on his property. To Preston’s surprise Christopher was indeed very knowledgeable and seemed to have a passion for the canal as well. He explained where the canal was on his property and the location of the culverts. He stated that one of the culverts had been removed by the railroad and that the timbers had been dumped on his property. He in-turn collected the timbers, milled them and used them to line his living room wall. He also made a bench out of one of them.

Christopher also made the claim that there was still one working culvert on the back edge of his property. This really peaked an interest in Preston as the only known operating wooden culvert was 203, Buck Creek, in Gibson County. Unfortunately, the weather was not conducive for a visit to the location that day; however, this remained a priority for Preston to investigate.

As time passed and the farming season grew to a close in the autumn of 2018 Preston was unable to arrange the time with Christopher Rudolph to see the culvert. In December Dave Kurvach and Preston GPS mapped the canal along the west side of Petersburg to the Bluffs of the White River as described in the state reports.

A 2.25-mile section of canal was GPS tagged and the site of Culvert 186 was located but nothing of the culvert was there. Once again, the weather was not going to allow them access to the “still operating” culvert.

On October 15, 2019 Preston began GPS mapping portions of the canal in Daviess and Greene counties. With the location of the Newberry Dam being known and the water levels down Preston went to the site at the urging of Mr. Kurvach.

While in the area Preston visited many other locations. Traveling home, he crossed the White River bridge into Pike County and on a whim paid the Rudolph family a visit. As he figured, Christopher was out in the fields, but his son Tom remembered Preston and the two began to discuss access and the exact location of culvert. During this conversation Tom offered to take Preston to the culvert and the two proceeded to the site. What was found was truly astonishing!

Photos by Preston Richardt

All this backstory has been told to present to you, the members Canal Society of Indiana, Culvert 184; an active wooden box culvert in Pike County, Indiana. It passes under the old canal (now a modern railroad). The south side of the culvert still has the original timbers, some of which have been removed but they are still on site. The north side of the culvert is made of concrete. It is believed the main body of the culvert is still intact. Water passes into the culvert from the south from the adjoining hillside.

At first Preston was not sure which culvert it was, but, thanks to modern technology, he carries digital copies of the audits with him and was able to access the 1853 report. This is what was utilized to identify the culvert number. The culvert according to the state report published in 1853 reads:

“Culvert 184. One space 8 by 2 feet clear. Length 142 feet. Top of culvert 14 1/4 feet below B.”

After reading the description Preston measured the open space and the length came to 8 foot clear and it sat approximately 18 feet below the railroad tracks, which were built atop the canal after it was filled with dirt.

No other culverts in the area had the measurements that fit the description and those taken at the site. Investigations to other possible culverts in the area are still ongoing.

One of the members of this committee requesting a missionary was Charles Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe. At the time, Charles was the pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Fort Wayne. Second Presbyterian became Westminster Presbyterian, which later joined with North Highlands Presbyterian to become Grace Presbyterian. Charles’ father, the famous Lyman Beecher, is reported to have traveled from Cincinnati, Ohio to St. Mary’s, Ohio on the Miami & Erie Canal. He finished the trip to Fort Wayne for Charles’ ordination on horseback.

Five Years on the Erie Canal: An Account of Some of the Most Striking Scenes and Incidents written by Deacon M. Eaton is an account of Eaton’s experiences as a missionary for the American Bethel Society on the Erie Canal. Deacon Eaton kept a journal of his encounters on the canal and turned them into a book. He called himself a “missionary among the watermen.” The deacon would ask permission to come aboard a canal boat and speak to workers and travelers. Several descriptions of orphan boys working on the canal are provided in Eaton’s book. Most of the boys were drivers. They took jobs on the canal just to survive. Numerous cruel captains mistreated the boys and cheated them of the wages due them. “The boys have been a very degraded class,” according to Eaton. Many of the boys would become inebriated and use profane language. Some of these lads died with no one by their bedside.

Missionaries gradually improved the treatment of canal boys, and as a result, the character of the boys improved.

There are missionary groups still working on canals. For example, there is a group of missionaries at work on the Welland Canal in Canada today.

Riley W & E Canal Marker Placed

Riley, Indiana was platted as Lockport by Nathaniel Donham on November 23, 1836. Its name was later changed to Riley since there was another Lockport in Carroll county. What is known as the Riley “Dip” by locals, now has a marker noting it is actually the location where the 468-mile-long Wabash & Erie Canal passed through the town.  The “dip”/canal can easily been seen in the pictures passing under Indiana 46 looking east.

San Ligget, CSI director from Terre Haute, is responsible for getting the CSI funded Wabash & Erie Canal Marker installed at Riley. He had to follow a circuitous route to get it installed by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT).  When INDOT was contacted they thought he was wanting to purchase and place one of the Indiana State Format Markers. After explaining that it was a marker being furnished by CSI and he only wanted INDOT to install it, he was put into contact with George Hopcha in Indianapolis. He learned he had to submit an Attachment 6 -Guide Sign Application Form that could be found on line, a map of the area where he wanted the sign placed, and a picture of the sign to Michelle Borden for approval. He was then put in contact with the local INDOT office where the sign was to be erected. The office was in Terre Haute, which is a sub-office of the Crawfordsville District. The men who erect the signs work out of Crawfordsville and make their rounds to the sub-offices. After the sign was approved Sam was directed to take it to the local INDOT facility, which he did on June 3, 2019. In the meantime he kept check on where the sign installation stood through Rosanna Royer, the secretary in the local INDOT office, who he said was extremely helpful. The installers received a work order and finally were in the Terre Haute area. The sign was erected on September 23, 2019 at the “dip” announcing to all those traveling east on Indiana 46 that they are crossing the route of the Wabash & Erie Canal.

CSI thanks Sam for all his work on this project. Hip Hip Hooray!

Peru Feeder Dam 3 Sign Mounted

The marker for the Wabash & Erie Canal dam across the Wabash River at Peru, Indiana, has been mounted on the S.E. corner of the Wayne St. bridge just off the old tow path.  It is very visible to motorists crossing the bridge. At low water remnants of the dam can be seen by looking at the river from this bridge.

Wabash & Erie Canal Feeder Dam 3                                Photo – Kreig Adkins

This dam backed up water in the river to be fed into the canal. It maintained the 4 foot depth that was required to operate the canal boats. It was 400 feet long and 11 feet high.  Part of the structure was built on a rock bottom and the other part on coarse gravel.  The foundation up to low water was formed of brush and trees, covered with an apron of hewn timber, on which was erected a timber crib filled with stone.

Tom Castaldi, CSI director,  worked with Kreig Adkins, Miami County Historian, to select the site for the marker. Kreig in turn worked with Peru Utilities to get it mounted.   Thanks to all who participated in this marker placement.

Aqueduct 17 Sign Erected in Gibson County

W&E Canal Aqueduct 17                       Photo- Preston Richardt

The CSI funded sign for Aqueduct 17 that carried the Wabash & Erie Canal  over the Patoka River at Dongola, Gibson county, Indiana has been installed by Preston Richardt and his crew in the Patoka River Wildlife Refuge.

The aqueduct was 194 feet long with a middle span of 50 feet and four other spans two on each side of 36 feet each. It had an open wooden trunk built on timber abutments and piers.

CSI Headquarters provided Preston with  CSI QR cards, and flyers about “Why Build A Canal,” a map of Indiana and Ohio’s canals, a diagram of a canal boat, and a diagram of a lock for Refuge Appreciation Day.

Refuge Appreciation Day 2019

By Preston Richardt

October 5th, 2019 I had the privilege of representing the Canal Society of Indiana (CSI) at the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge – Refuge Appreciation Day at Wirth Park in Oakland City, Indiana. Planning for the event began approximately a month and a half prior to the event. I reached out to Bob and Carolyn Schmidt for handouts and brochures for the booth, which they graciously provided. Another focus I had for the booth was to highlight the Wabash and Erie Canal on the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge property; the site of Aqueduct #17 lies on refuge property as does part of the town of Dongola. About a month prior to the event I began to challenge myself with the construction of a diorama of the Patoka River Aqueduct to use as a “hook” to grab the attention of the passersby.

Diorama of the Patoka River Aqueduct (#17) based off the engineer’s report from 1851 and 1853 reports. The model length/width/height are to scale of the actual aqueduct. Model constructed by Preston Richardt.

The event officially started at 9:00 am and lasted until 2:00 pm. The booth began receiving visitors around 8:30 am and saw a steady stream of people asking questions about CSI and the canal locally. There were between 200 – 250 people in attendance. The crowd was interested in what the Canal Society does. I was able to describe how the society has provided signage throughout the county and state and helps save structures from destruction by working with local and state leadership. Also I described how CSI keeps the history of Indiana’s canals alive through the stories of the people who were involved in constructing the canals. I passed out several handouts that were provided and am hopeful that membership comes from it.

CSI Member Preston Richardt (right) discussed the Wabash and Erie Canal to an attendee of Refuge Appreciation Day – Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge (Oakland City, IN)

I also talked about the local history of the canal. With the assistance of the visual aids, I taught the attendees of the event who locally were involved, how it was built and why the engineers chose the locations that they did. The story I told the most was the story not about anything local to Gibson/Pike Counties but rather the “Reservoir Wars” of Clay County. The event went very well and the Canal Society is welcomed back anytime.

Signs Picked Up and Delivered

On Monday, October 21, 2019, Bob Schmidt, CSI president, and his wife Carolyn traveled from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Sharonville, Ohio to pick up six more signs to be placed along Indiana’s canals. The signs were made by Chip Coburn of CDS Signs.

Bob Schmidt (left) presented the sign for the Laurel Aqueduct to John Hillman, president of the Whitewater Valley Railroad.

On the Schmidt’s return trip they stopped at the Whitewater Valley Railroad Depot located in Connersville, Indiana to drop off the sign for the Laurel Aqueduct.  John Hillman, president of the Whitewater Valley Railroad and a CSI director, accepted the sign.  He and his fellow railroaders will erect it along the Whitewater River where the abutments for the Whitewater Canal Aqueduct stand.  During canal times this aqueduct was constructed to carry the Whitewater Canal over the west fork of the Whitewater River east of Laurel. Today the railroad crosses the river at the same spot.

Tom Castaldi will have these markers installed in Fort Wayne. Photo by Bob Schmidt

On Tuesday Bob delivered two of the signs to Tom Castaldi, who is getting them erected at the St. Joe Feeder Canal and the St. Marys Aqueduct in Fort Wayne. At the CSI Board of Directors meeting on October 26, Bob delivered two signs to Sam Ligget. One is for Jeff Koehler in Clay county for the Splunge Creek Reservoir, and the other one is to be placed in Vigo county by a section of canal at the corner of Feree Road and Davidson Road. Jeff will have the Reservoir sign erected and Sam will have the one in Vigo county installed by the property owner. The sixth sign is a generic 468 mile sign for the Wabash & Erie Canal.  We will have pictures of the signs in “The Tumble” after they are in place.

This has been a very popular project.  We will consider placing additional signs. Submit you suggestions to CSI headquarters.

Migliore Visits Neptune’s Staircase

Brian Migliore, CSI member from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, visited Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal in September, 2019.  He was most impressed by the eight lock staircase that is the longest staircase lock in Britain.  It is located at Banavie, near Fort William just north of Loch Linnhe and is managed by Scottish Canals. The staircase lifts/lowers boats 64 feet in about 90 minutes through the eight locks that are 40 feet wide by 180 feet long.

Neptune’s Staircase courtesy of Wikipedia

Thomas Telford was the principal engineer in the building of the Caledonian Canal. John Telford, who was no relation to Thomas, was the resident engineer of the southern section, which included building Neptune’s Staircase.  A quarry was opened to provide rubble-stone to build the locks. By June 1809, three of the locks were completed.  But construction lagged and the canal didn’t open until October 1922. Over the years the canal fell into disrepair. In 1962 it was taken over by the British Waterways Board. They had mechanized all the locks by 1969, but by the 1990s lock walls were bulging and leaking. One plan to replace the locks and lock gates was too costly.  Another plan was devised to drain a few sections of the canal at a time, repair the locks by drilling holes into the double-skinned walls, place stainless steel rods into the walls, seal them with grout, and waterproof them. Then the locks were fitted with new gates. Although this system was originally hand-powered, it now operates hydraulically. It is said that after this project the locks were probably in better condition than after they were first built.

Austin Moves West By Canal Boat

When Bob Schmidt, CSI president, spoke to the Austin Families Association Of America in October 2019, Alice Austin Martin gave him the following autobiography of Judge James H. Austin, her great uncle.  It relates his early life and moving west in the 1860s by various transportation modes.  Note that he is from Schnectady, New York, which is on the Erie Canal, but  he used the railroad rather than the Erie Canal to reach Buffalo on Lake Erie.

Autobiography of Judge James Hannah Austin

I was born into a family of ten children at Schnectady, NY; an old Dutch city, many of whose residences were built of brick brought from Holland — a city having a population of about 10,000 people.  From here my parents started west to Illinois; this was in the early 60s, and a more delightful trip than that one was to us children cannot be imagined — I am not saying whether our parents enjoyed it as much.

We took the railway to Buffalo — which was as far west as the railroads had then gone — and at that point we transferred to a boat on Lake Erie, taking us to Toledo, Ohio; and we there entered the Wabash Canal [Wabash & Erie Canal] (which was the especially delightful portion of the trip above referred to) and went to Terre Haute, Indiana, and from there to our destination, Paris, Illinois by stage.

Paris was a typical western town of about 2000 inhabitants built around a Court-house-square. The people of this town and the surrounding county consisted of the sturdy class, which had populated Kentucky and had pushed west to Indiana, Illinois, and later to Missouri.

To those who had lived in cities of the state of New York, with its free schools, etc., these seemed strange people; they were, however, the class who had produced a Lincoln. Lacking in education, few being able to read or write, they were nevertheless a strong and virile race, from whom have sprung many heroes of the past.

It was a hard thing to convince these people that free schools were right and just, as they could not see the right of their being taxed to pay for the schooling of other peoples’ children, but did, at last come around to it.

My parents sent me back to my birthplace to complete my schooling and I was graduated from Union College in 1867. Afterwards I entered the law office of Waite and Clark in Chicago and was admitted to the practice of the law by the Supreme Court of Illinois, in January, 1869; shortly thereafter I received a letter from my brother-in-law in Junction City, Kansas saying that an old lawyer of that place wished a young lawyer as partner, and urged me to come at once, which I did — that was the time when Horace Greeley was giving his famous advice to young men to go west. Boasting to my young friends of my good luck, I started. At that time Leavenworth and St. Joseph were the most talked of, as the coming cities of this western country —

To go back in my story, I must say that after a short time in Kansas I not only became reconciled to the change, but grew to be a great admirer of people among whom my lot was cast, for I found them a refined, educated people with high ideals and wonderful optimism; they had such a strong belief in the future that they would buy anything on credit that would add to their comfort or convenience.

The county in which I lived, had a population of 6,000 people; they did not hesitate to vote $150,000 in bonds to each of four railways if they would build through Junction City and the County; fortunately only one railroad accepted the proposition, and the County was nearly bankrupted in paying those bonds.

Visionary and optimistic as were these people they were honest and courageous in their endeavors, and their only fault was in expecting too much from the future; their history is well expressed in their state motto — “Ad Astra per Aspera”.

I well remember my arrival at Kansas City, early in the morning; I looked around me and saw the surroundings of the station; it was in the west bottoms, on the state-line, and was called the State-Line-Depot. I saw no buildings within a quarter of a mile, the nearest being a row of shanties at the foot of the west bluffs, and toward these I walked, hoping to get a cup of hot coffee, but to my disappointment found that they were occupied only as sleeping quarters, by workmen, so I went without my coffee.

After that I proceeded on my journey, and reached Junction City about 4 or 5 hours later and there my vision had a tumble, for I had fancied that I was going to another Chicago on a smaller scale; my brother-in-law met me and drove me to his home through the main business street; the surroundings were a terrible disappointment so much so that later I could sympathize with the story of a man from New York who came to Junction City to see a man on business, and hoped to conclude that business and return east on the afternoon train, but the New Yorker was told that the man whom he had come to see “had gone to the country” and in his exasperation, he exclaimed: “Hell, what does ANY man want with more country then he gets in this town” — That was about the way I felt that first day, though my pride would not have allowed me to show my disappointment.

Not withstanding this Junction City was quite a stirring  business town — here were the headquarters of the Land-Office of the Union Pacific Railway Company, as well as that of the U.S. Government, where all persons were compelled to come to file applications for pre-emption, or homestead and where they had to file final proofs, before obtaining patents therefore.

The Union Pacific Railway had at that time been extended as far as Abilene 20 miles west of Junction City — and the entire country was filled with Texas cattle awaiting shipment east; these were the days of the cowboy, and Wild Bill —whom, by the way, I knew well —

Here were enacted those scenes of these cow-boys riding into shops on horseback and making their purchases from the saddle; these towns were full of gambling houses and all sorts of questionable resorts, and the killing of people was a matter of daily occurrence.

After some years experience in the partnership to which I had been admitted, I was, at the age of 29, made District Judge of the 8th Judicial District, which position I held for ten years before returning to general practice, at which time I moved to Kansas City, Missouri.

James Hannah Austin was born on October 29, 1844, married Frances Jeanette (Smith) Austin on February 13, 1879, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on February 13, 1929, died on February 24, 1929 of pneumonia and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, Missouri. They had 3 children: Albert H., Ruth, and James H. Austin. On March 3, 1884, Judge Austin attained the Third degree of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In  1920 he was elected and served as Judge of the Circuit Court of the 16th Judicial District of Missouri for six years. He declined re-nomination. Find-A-Grave 146909873

Canal Saint-Martin

Neil Sowards, CSI member from Fort Wayne, Indiana found this interesting unused 1910 post card on E-bay showing three men pulling a canal boat.  He said that when he was in the Netherlands he saw one man pulling a canal boat.  In an article about Harriet Tubman in an earlier CSI publication, it was reported that she at times pulled a canal boat for her father.

The map, courtesy of  Wikipedia, shows the 4.6 kilometer long Canal Saint-Martin located in Paris, France. It connects the Canl de l’Ourcq with the Seine river.  During the mid-19th century it was covered between the Rue du’Faubourg du Temple and the Place de la Bastille to create wide boulevards and public spaces on the surface.  The remaining portion is drained and cleaned every 10-15 years. While being cleaned Parisians enjoy finding treasures among tons of discarded objects. The canal offers boat rides and appears much like the Canal Walk in San Antonio, Texas. For pictures of the canal and it being drained see Wikipedia.

Laurel Feeder Dam Trail

Whitewater Canal Trail, Inc. (WCT) has developed a new section of trail called the “Feeder Dam Trail,” that runs for about two miles from U.S. 52 in Metamora toward the Laurel Feeder Dam on the Whitewater River. Last summer Brian Nobbe road his bicycle along this section as it was being constructed and documented what he saw with the following pictures, which he posted on Facebook.  The trail crosses the Whitewater Canal on new bridges, passes two locks on the canal, follows the Whitewater River, and has scenic views.

Trail construction began in 2015 when WCT volunteers started cutting a path along the canal to see what it would take to build this two mile section. At that time the  canal corridor was overgrown with brush and trees. The canal was shallow and nearly full of silt in spots and it wandered back and forth like a little creek instead of looking like a canal. There was a lot of work to do.

After four years of planning, fundraising, dredging and construction,  the wide trail has a solid surface and runs along a newly dredged and straightened canal. There are two canal locks along it. It is phase 1 of the Feeder Dam Trail.  Phase 2 will begin at the end of Phase 1 and go to the Laurel Feeder Dam, a distance of about another two miles.

WCT celebrated the grand opening of  this new section trail on October 13, 2019. It held a Ribbon Cutting and a Grand Opening Party from 3 P.M. until dark that included wood-fired pizza, cold beverages, a cash bar, trail tours and a ribbon cutting. Food, beverages and socializing were at the Old Opry Barn in Metamora at 19189 Pennington Rd. Tickets for the event were $15 or 2 for $25 – kids under twelve, $5 with all proceeds going toward the construction of the next part of the Feeder Dam Trail.

At this celebration canawlers socialized with other trail supporters, had some pizza and checked out the new trail. They could also make a contribution for Phase II of the Feeder Dam Trail if they liked what they saw.

Pizza was served from 4 to 6 PM. There was a guided trail tour to Lock #26 at 3:30, the ribbon cutting at 5:00 p.m. and a second trail tour right after the ribbon cutting.

Leopard Frogs* Once Used for Pregnancy Tests

By Cynthia Powers MT(ASCP)

Eagle Marsh, along the Towpath Trail in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is full of leopard frogs in the late summer. As a retired medical lab worker I remember how we used leopard frogs back in the late 50’s.

You’ve heard the expression “the rabbit died,” meaning a positive pregnancy test. This was because a female rabbit developed hemorrhagic ovarian follicles after being injected with urine from a pregnant lady. In reality, the rabbit always died after being surgically opened up. It’s interesting that the hormone secreted by the human placenta, HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin, has an effect on animals of different species.

A later development was a test using the female African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. In this test, the frog would lay eggs upon being injected with the specimen. More about this later.

Enter the test using Rana pipiens, the leopard frog. This is the one I learned as a student in the late 50’s. Oddly, it used male frogs, which produced sperm when the test was positive. Only male frogs were sent by the supplier: they have a swollen and pigmented “thumb” so are easy to distinguish. We kept them in the refrigerator in a large container with a little water; they thought they were hibernating and didn’t even have to be fed.

To do the test we just injected the filtered urine into the frog’s big dorsal lymph sacs. The skin is very thin there so it didn’t seem to hurt the frog very much. Then we let the frog sit in a glass jar for 2-4 hours; then squeezed him gently over a glass slide and looked for sperm under the microscope. As I remember we used two frogs per patient, just to make sure. After about 4 days the frog could be used again. Of course sometimes we students managed to accidentally on purpose let a frog escape……………..…Although modern pregnancy tests are much more sensitive, in its day the frog test was cutting edge for its accuracy, rapidity and simplicity.

Back to the Xenopus laevis test: now it is thought that when they were imported from Africa they brought along a fungus called Batrachochytridium, which didn’t harm them particularly but caused disease in native frogs which had no resistance. (Sound familiar?) As we know, amphibians are in trouble all over the world, but apparently not along the Towpath Trail at Eagle Marsh.

*Frogs are the mascot of the Canal Society of Indiana since they were in the canals during the canal era and are still in what remains of Indiana’s canals.

In Memoriam

Janet “Sue” Boyle Burger passed away at age 86 in Muncie, Indiana on Saturday, November 16, 2019. Born November 20, 1932 to Albert J. and Irene E. (Sample) Boyle in Yorktown, Indiana, she moved to Muncie in 1945, was graduated from Burris High School, received her undergraduate degree from Hanover College and Master’s degree from Ball State University after which she taught elementary school for over 25 years.

Sue loved square dancing and was a member of the Footloose Square Dance Club.  She attended many trips with the Canal Society of Indiana until her health declined. She also enjoyed meetings at the Yorktown Indiana Historical Alliance and lectures sponsored by the Association of Lifelong Learners.  Her interests included politics, reading, traveling, theatre, and all things Scottish. She was a member of the Yorktown Methodist Church.

Sue was preceded in death by her father Albert Boyle, her mother Irene, and her daughter Elizabeth M. Costello.  She leaves her daughter Janette M. Burger of Elgin, Illinois; granddaughter Michelle Costello (Brad) Clark and great-grandchildren Abraham and Celia Clark of Lexington, Kentucky; and her sister Bonnie Boyle (Martin) Every of Vienna, Virginia.

Services were held on Tuesday, November 19 at 12 p.m. at Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington Street Chapel, in Muncie followed by burial in Elm Ridge Cemetery.

Memorials were to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, 6621 N Old State Rd 3, Muncie, Indiana 47303 or

CSI Directors Meeting

The annual Canal Society of Indiana Board of Directors Meeting was held on October 26, 2019 at the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretive Center in Delphi, Indiana with Dan McCain host. Present were directors and spouses: Terry & Anne Bodine, Sam & JoAnn Ligget, Dan McCain, Mike Morthorst, Bob & Carolyn Schmidt, Steve & Sue Simerman, and Steve & Sharon Williams.

President Bob Schmidt welcomed everyone, had a moment of silence for members who had passed away during the year, and gave a review of CSI’s 2018-2019 accomplishments including two successful tours, additions to website, and signage at significant canal sites.

It was decided to continue the membership rate of $20 per single/family, create a sheet of information about canals to be passed out at festivals, ask membership to sponsor more signs, and order five more signs to be placed during 2020.

On April 17-19  our tour will be “From Farm to Market: Wabash & Erie Canal in Gibson, Warrick & Vanderburgh Counties, Indiana headquartered at the Quality Inn near Haubstaudt, Indiana and on August 22 we will have a  symposium “The Central Canal: Then and Now” at the Anderson Public Library in place of a second tour.

Directors gave local reports and members’ activities were included in the CSI Annual Report.

Refreshments and lunch were supplied by Carolyn Schmidt.

Following the meeting Dan McCain led everyone on a personal tour of the canal museum. It is one of the best in the country.

CSI Year End Report – 2018


Assisted students, authors and genealogists in canal research

Board meeting: October  26 Canal Interpretive Center, Delphi

Host: McCain   8 Directors,  4 Guests

On-line: Canal Society of Indiana website:

Canal Society of Indiana Facebook page

Subscribed to


Terry Bodine – Covington

Tom Castaldi  – 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”

Stan Schmitt  – Evansville

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

Miami Co.  Kreig Adkins

Carroll Co.  Mark Smith

Vigo Co.     Mike McCormick

Clay Co.     Jeffrey Koehler


Auffart, Albert Martin 10-Jul-19
Baker, Kenneth Leroy 26-Dec-18
Barber, David G. 15-Dec-18
Burger, Sue 16-Nov-19
Hulslander, Jean 27-Jun-19
Hurley, Pauline 4-Feb-19
Lehman, Jerome W. 1-Apr-19


Butwin, Frank – Perrysburg, OH

Carr, John & Candy – Columbus, IN

Gooch, Susan – Fishers, IN

Griffin, Margaret –  Ft. Wayne, IN

Finney, Margo – Carmel, IN

Hanlin, Chris – Cincinnati, OH

Helbing, William C. – Fishers, IN

SPEAKERS BUREAU (talking about Indiana’s canals and promoting CSI)

Date # of People Event Presenter/s
1/14/19 95 Wabash Valley Genealogy Society Jeff Koehler
2/5/19 6 Plainfield Guilford Twp. Library Jeff Koehler
3/3/19 20 Paris, Illinois Historical Society Jeff Koehler
3/7/19 40 Plainfield Guilford Twp. Library Jeff Koehler
5/29/19 35 Ft. Wayne Canterbury School Tom Castaldi
9/24/19 28 Ft. Waynbe PEO Club Bob Schmidt
10/5/19 40 Ft. Wayne Austin Families Assoc. of Am. Bob Schmidt
10/5/19 102 Patoka Refuge Gibson County Preston Richardt


Canal Locator Fund in memory of Dick Winchell  – Linda Winchell

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

Barth, Bob – Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Bauer, Carl – Served as CSI representative on the Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor board of directors; My wife Barbara and I attended CSI spring tour. I took pictures on the tour for “The Tumble.” We became life members of CSI.

Billing, Leon & Sandy  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Bowman, Dean & Polly – Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Brady, Neil & Allison  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Carr, John & Candy – Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Castaldi, Linda  – Attended CSI spring tour and CSI-CSO fall tour with Tom

Castaldi, Tom –  W & E Canal –  Fort Wayne  –  CSI Director

Indiana County Historian Program: continue serving as Allen County Historian

Responding to various history queries often involving early transportation.

Presentation: May 29, 2019 made a presentation to faculty and students at Fort Wayne’s Canterbury School on the origins of Northeast Indiana’s rivers leading to the Wabash Erie Canal and to economic development

Donations: Wabash & Erie Canal Notebook series to University of Indianapolis Archeology Department.

Indiana State Museum Foundation board president’s papers collected and cataloged for the years of the capital campaign through the museum’s opening in 2002. Includes the topic of including the Gronauer Lock exhibit and Indiana’s canal history.

Tumble articles – mentions:  September 2019. March 2018, “Gronauer Lock Timber Wall “marker for Fort Wayne’s Promenade Park’s Compass Pavilion.

Aboite Creek Aqueduct No. 2 CSI sponsored sign installed.

Gronauer Lock Marker missing at construction site of I-469 East exit ramp.

Newsletters: Footprints at the Forks (of the Wabash Historic Park) “Towpath Trails of the Wabash with Tom Castaldi No. 8” Spring 2019 Ehler Island.

Radio Broadcasts: Northeast Indiana Public Radio WBOI FM 89.1 On the Heritage Trail includes episodes on Jesse Williams as canal and rail chief engineer achievements

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

Blogs: Northeast Indiana Public Radio: WBOI Presents: In Session No. 7, pod cast Local History or Rivers to Portage, Canals to Rails to Highways.

Indiana History Bureau blog site postings often make references to Indiana’s Canals. Also, Allen County Fort Wayne History Center’s “Our Stories” blog site postings.

Indiana Organizations: worked with organizations such as Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal Association’s museum Archive Committee; Conner Prairie pioneer transportation in early Indiana.

Signage & Markers: Coordinated the installation of six CSI-sponsored site markers: Aboite Aqueduct No. 2, Eel River Aqueduct 10 and four Feeder dams at the Forks of Wabash Huntington, Lagro, Peru, and Pittsburg.  Completion of the installations made possible because of the cooperation of local CSI members and others who should be members. Initial approvals received for signage to mark the St. Joseph River Feeder through Purdue University Fort Wayne’s athletic complex and Fort Wayne Parks River Greenway Trail at the historic site of the St. Mary’s Aqueduct No. 1. Research and text fro Delphi Canal Park’s Irish Labor Shanty marker.

What is happening to canal related sites queries?  Typical projects include assisting folks such as rail fan researchers to locate Wabash Erie Canal sites such as St. Joseph River feeder line for trolley rail line interested group.  Attempting to track down missing Indiana History Bureau markers such as Gronauer Lock now lost.

Books read:  The Pioneers, David McCullough. Also, Early Immigrants of Cass Co, Ind Michael Stajduhar.

Ferris, Gary & Cassandra  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Finney, Margo  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Fledderjohann, Tom & Diane

We submitted articles and pictures about Ohio’s culvert being washed out. We attended CSI-CSO’s fall tour.

Foster, Rilla  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Goar, Lowell & Jerry  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Gooch, Susan  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Goughnour, Tom – Attended CSI spring tour and CSI-CSO fall tour

Hall, Webster – Attended CSI spring tour

Helbing, Bill  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Hess, Phyllis  –  Attended CSI spring tour and CSI-CSO fall tour, helped on tour logistics

Hillman, John – Whitewater Canal  –  CSI Director

I have a lead in Connersville that I am pursuing.  The signs sponsored by CSI along the Whitewater Valley Railroad route are all in good shape and visible. The board meeting is at the busiest time for the railroad so I cannot attend. I talked about Whitewater Canal while on the train to Metamora.

Hite, Andy  – Led CSI spring tour at Piqua, attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Hughes, William & Betty  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Jesse, Sue  –  Attended CSI spring tour and CSI-CSO fall tour, helped on tour logistics

Jones, Troy  –  Submitted postcard with canal stamp and canal cancellation for “The Tumble”

Koehler, Jeff – W & E Canal – Center Point  –  CSI Director

Presented four programs about canals

Kroger, Patty  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Kurvach, David – W & E Canal – Warrick County  –  CSI Director

Researched and wrote two articles for “The Tumble” complete with pictures of what remains of the W&E Canal in Warrick county. He received two canal signs for Warrick county and is working on getting them erected. He is helping plan the 2020 spring tour through his county.

Ligget, Sam – W&E Canal -Terre Haute  –  CSI Director

My wife JoAnn and I attended the CSI spring canal tour and the fall CSI-CSO canal tour.  I wrote 2 articles for “The Tumble.”

I worked on getting a Canal Society of Indiana sign posted at the intersection of highway 46 and the Cross-cut Canal just east of Riley, Indiana. The sign was approved by INDOT but we had to wait for a work order for it to be posted. Working with INDOT has been an education! It was finally installed in October 2019.

I attended the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department’s 5-year planning meeting. The new director is open to doing something with the Riley Lock. The timbers saved from Aqueduct 151 have a new temporary home. A volunteer has built a protective roof over the timbers. They are located in the pioneer village at Fowler Park where people can see them. I have provided information about these timbers to the Vigo Co. Parks and Recreation for a display during the annual Pioneer Days Festival at the park.

“Destiny of the Republic” by Candice Millard is good reading about the assassination of President James Abram Garfield. “From Canal Boy to President” by Horatio Alger is cited as a reference book by the author. Before reading Millard’s book, I didn’t know we had a president that had a working connection to canals.

McCain, Dan –  W & E Canal  – Delphi  –  CSI Director

Served as president of the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal Association and was involved with all its activities, submitted 10 articles with pictures about Canal Park in Delphi for “The Tumble.” Hosted CSI Directors meeting.

McKarns, Bill & Pauline – Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Mattheis, Jerry & Phyllis – Whitewater Canal – Cambridge City  –  CSI Directors

Phyllis assisted Mike Morthorst with planning for the fall tour of the National Road in this area.  Seeing the Milton culvert and a lock was on the agenda.  Jerry and Phyllis also did some sprucing up of the 3rd floor canal museum in the Vinton House in preparation of tour visitors.

In Hagerstown, a bridge on Teetor Road is being replaced. The publicity says it was over the “old Whitewater Canal.”  Actually it was over the feeder for the Hagerstown extension to the Whitewater Canal.  The canal boat turnaround and landing were at the foot of South Perry Street a couple of blocks southwest of the bridge.  The old bridge had 60 years of service, concrete abutments, steel support beams, and a concrete deck The new bridge is a three-sided concrete box culvert, spanning 35 feet across the feeder canal.  It was to be completed in September.

Phyllis wrote an article for “The Tumble.”

Migliore, Brian  –  Visited Neptune’s Staircase, the longest staircase lock in Britain, on the Caledonian Canal at Banavie.

Morris, Dr. Ron  –  Attended CSI spring tour, provided Governor Oliver P. Morton’s home for meals for the CSI spring tour and the CSI-CSO fall tour, worked with Ball State students on the CSI website and “The Tumble”

Morthorst, Mike  –  Cincinnati  –  CSI Director

Served as CSI vice-president, planned CSI-CSO fall tour, acted as docent, and wrote tour guide book, served as secretary for Whitewater Canal Trails organization, edited CSO newsletter

Morthorst, Tom  –  Attended the CSI-CSO fall tour

Newhardt, Dave  –  Attended the CSI-CSO fall tour

Petrie, Ron & Corinne  –  Attended the CSI-CSO fall tour

Powers, Cynthia – W & E Canal  –  Ft. Wayne/Ossian  –  CSI Director

Served as CSI treasurer and paid bills, wrote an article for “The Tumble”

Renwick, Mark  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Richardt, Preston  –  Spoke to over 100 people at the  Patoka River Wildlife Refuge Appreciation Day about the canal and aqueduct at Dongola and passed out CSI materials, built a replica of the W & E aqueduct over Patoka River No. 17

Riley, Mike – Served as American Canal Society president  – Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Rozick, Don & Kathleen  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Schmidt, Bob – W & E Canal – Ft. Wayne  –  CSI Director

Served as CSI president; planned CSI spring tour, arranged for train trip, contacted museums, etc.; helped with CSI-CSO fall tour; took pictures for “The Tumble” on both tours; planned CSI Board of Directors Meeting; kept CSI financial records and prepared financial statement; filed not-for-profit state and federal forms; wrote three articles for “The Tumble”; spoke about CSI and canals twice; arranged to have canal signs made, picked them up, and delivered them to Gibson county, Allen county, and Vigo county; worked with Ball State students for CSI website creating a map of Indiana’s canals with structures by county, pictures, and documents; developed mileage and statistical data: prepared data about canal officials, dams and feeders, etc. for website; answered canal questions and mailed material to several people

Schmidt, Carolyn – W & E Canal – Ft. Wayne  –  CSI Director

Co-ordinator for “The Tumble” and wrote 30 articles for it; prepared CSI Board of Directors meeting agenda and year end report booklet, purchased lunch for the directors meeting, attended CSI spring and CSI-CSO fall tours, prepared tour guide for spring tour, made name tags for tour and director’s meeting, collected materials for tour goodie bags, ordered meals, etc; compiled a 190 page book of newspaper clippings about canals and printed it; answered E-mailed questions about canals

Severt, Jill  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Sheldon, Kay  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour, Served as tour treasurer

Simerman, Sue  – W & E Canal  – Ossian  –  CSI Director

My husband, Steve, and I visited Grant’s Canal at Vicksburg, Mississippi. I took photos and wrote an article. We went on the CSI spring tour, visited the Whitewater Canal and took photos. We attended the CSI-CSO fall tour. I submitted photos for “The Tumble” from both tours.

June was a busy month for us. We visited the Miami and Erie Canal, Independence Dam, and Grand Rapids in Ohio and walked along the Gilead Canal. We made a stop at Delphi, Indiana for the Wabash and Erie Canal and at Lagro, Indiana where we took photos and looked at all of the work that is being done to make the town more attractive for river walkers and canoe users as well as businesses and new residents.

I passed out a few of our Canal Society of Indiana cards, took notes and wrote up the secretary’s report at the October 2018 board of director’s meeting, and was in charge of the nominations for the CSI annual spring business meeting. I attended the CSI Board of Directors meeting.

Smith, Mark  –  I submitted two articles and pictures for “The Tumble.”

Smith, Warren & Judy  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Sowards, Neil 

I found pictures, postcards, and other canal related material on E-Bay and submitted them for “The Tumble.” My wife Diana and I attended the CSI spring tour.

Starbuck, Mary  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Stirm, Brian – W & E Canal – Delphi  –  CSI Director

My two 2019 events have been giving guided tours of W & E Canal Park with the Trolley during the Canal Days Fourth of July festival (about 8 of them, 40 minute tours,  averaging 15 passengers each) and leading a driving tour of Carroll County with highlights of the Canal towpath in the Carrollton area.  This event was during the National Packard Automotive Club convention in July.  We had about 25 people on the Trolley and about 20 cars following us.  We did lunch at Canal Park and all participants took “Delphi” Canal Boat rides (3 boat trips).  It turned out to be a great day for canalling in Delphi and hopefully this national audience of like minded historic automotive participants will take the message back home with them.

Teeters, Alice  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Timmers, Frank & Mary  –  Attended CSI spring tour

Turner, Larry  –  Attended CSI-CSO fall tour

Williams, Steve  –  W & E Canal  – Roanoke  –  CSI Director

I submitted an article for “The Tumble” and my wife Sharon and I attended the CSI-CSO fall tour and the CSI Board of Directors meeting.

Winchell, Linda  –  Attended CSI spring tour, made donation to Canal Locator Fund

Woods, Terry  –  Submitted an article for “The Tumble”