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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Waterville in Lucas County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal

 
 
John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 14, 2010
1. John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio
Inscription. East Side of Marker:

"John Pray - Founder of Waterville, Ohio"

Born in Rhode Island, John Pray (1783-1872) moved to the Maumee River Valley from New York shortly after serving in the War of 1812 and completing a prospecting tour in Ohio. He built a dam across the river to Granger Island and in 1821 constructed a water-powered gristmill, the first on the lower Maumee. In 1831, he laid out the Village of Waterville with the first 50 lots. The Columbian House, a stagecoach inn constructed by Pray in 1828 and expanded in 1837, was for years the commercial and social center of Waterville and accommodated travelers from cities such as Detroit and Cincinnati. From this building, he operated the village's post office. When Wood County was organized in 1820, Pray became a commissioner until Lucas County was formed from part of Wood in 1835. For nine years he served as Justice of the Peace in Waterville. He and his wife Lucy raised eleven children to adulthood. Circa 1854 he constructed his home, which today overlooks Pray Park.

West Side of Marker:

"The Miami and Erie Canal"

The Miami and Erie Canal, connecting Toledo to Cincinnati, joined the Wabash and Erie Canal to Indiana. The Waterville section of the canal
The Miami and Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 14, 2010
2. The Miami and Erie Canal Marker
was completed in 1843. Boats, pulled by mules or horses walking on the canal banks, hauled farm products, commercial goods, and people. In 1851 there were approximately 400 boats operating on the canal. Hotels, stores, and mills sprung up along its banks. The Joseph Hall store stood on this site. Canal operations ceased in 1909 as railroads and automobiles became faster and cheaper means of travel. During the 1930s and 1940s the canal bed was filled in to become the Anthony Wayne Trail, U. S. Route 24.
 
Erected 2002 by The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Waterville Historical Society, and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 40-48.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection, the The Miami & Erie Canal, and the Wabash & Erie Canal marker series.
 
Location. 41° 29.981′ N, 83° 43.264′ W. Marker is in Waterville, Ohio, in Lucas County. Marker is at the intersection of North 4th Street and Farnsworth Road (Ohio Route 64), on the right when traveling north on North 4th Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 23 North 4th Street, Waterville OH 43566, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wakeman Hall / Waterville Historical Society
The Miami and Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 14, 2010
3. The Miami and Erie Canal Marker
A close-up view of the Joseph Hall store that once stood on this site, along the side of the canal, as seen in this photograph that is affixed onto the historical marker.
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Columbian House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Miamis Reserve/Miltonville (approx. 0.8 miles away); Ohio Electric Railroad Bridge / Roche De Bout/Roche De Boeuf (approx. 0.9 miles away); Site of Fort Deposit / Roche de Boeuf (approx. one mile away but has been reported missing); Bowling Green Fault (approx. one mile away); Fort Deposit / Roche de Bout (approx. 1.1 miles away); John A. Wilson (approx. 2.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Waterville.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PersonsSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 14, 2010
4. John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker
View of historical marker at the corner of North 4th Street and Farnsworth Road, with the Anthony Wayne Trail (former site of the Miami & Erie Canal) in the background.
John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 14, 2010
5. John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker
View, looking east, of the historical marker in the foreground and the downtown business district in the background. Where the current traffic lights are located is where the Miami and Erie Canal use to be located.
John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 14, 2010
6. John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker
View looking north of the historical marker and Waterville's own city park.
John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, May 14, 2010
7. John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal Marker
View looking south of the historical marker and a canal era building, situated on the high ground, overlooking both the canal and downtown Waterville.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,800 times since then and 52 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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