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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Delphi in Carroll County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Canal Boats

Life On the Wabash & Erie Canal

 

— Wabash & Erie Canal Park Village —

 
Canal Boats Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, July 18, 2020
1. Canal Boats Marker
Inscription.  
A Canal Boat That Will Not Float?
The Playground Boat is most like the freight boat in the above illustration. But this one has been changed to make it fun for young people's imagination. It won't float in the Canal but it will carry young people on many exciting journeys.

Before canals were dug, rough trails, cart paths and rivers were the only way to transport people and products through the wilderness. Long waterways with very little current, canals provided a dependable way for passengers and products to move in and out of the Wabash Valley country.

Three types of boats dominated the canal waters: Line, Packet and Freighter. Other boats may have been designed for specific uses and some floats were simple rafts made of logs tied together to be sold for lumber when their destination was reached.

Many canal boats were custom built so boats within the same general category might look very different from each other., Boats were long and narrow designed to pass through 90 foot by 15 foot wide locks that raised or lowered them as the water level changed with the terrain.

Two or three horses

Canal Boats Marker image. Click for full size.
By TeamOHE, July 18, 2020
2. Canal Boats Marker
hitched to a long tow rope - one behind the other-moved packets and line boats. One or two mules towed freighters that carried fresh animals on board to exchange when the working mules tired. Later, steam was tried to power the boats, but it was not successful because of the wave damage to the canal banks.

Mountain in October 1872. After the 1870s only sections of the 468 mile long Canal were used for short hauling and passenger excursions between Canal towns.

Line Boats were part of a fleet operated by a transport company much like a modern-day bus line. Usually towed by horses, moving at about two or three miles per hour, they were popular with immigrants. Line boats moved at a slower pace, and were less expensive because meals and sleeping accommodations were not always included.

Packet Boats towed by horses were made for carrying people more comfortably than riding in an overland stage coach. In the 1840s travelers expected faster travel, with meals and a place to sleep on board while moving both day and night toward their destination. Packets were the first boats to go when railroad service opened in the 1850s.

Freight Boats carried heavy loads such as grain, lime, wood, and stone, in bulk, inside bags, baskets or barrels. Materials manufactured locally and goods farmers produced were shipped out while merchandise from around the world

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became affordable and accessible to Hoosier Settlers. Freighters were the last of the boats seen on the Wabash & Erie Canal.
 
Erected by The Class of 58, Delphi High School.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wabash & Erie Canal series list.
 
Location. 40° 35.5′ N, 86° 40.867′ W. Marker is in Delphi, Indiana, in Carroll County. Marker can be reached from West North Washington Street just east of Charles Street, on the right when traveling east. On the Grounds of the Wabash & Erie Canal Conference & Interpretive Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12252 West North Washington Street, Delphi IN 46923, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bicentennial Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis Thomas Jones (within shouting distance of this marker); An Herb Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Blacksmithing (within shouting distance of this marker); River Travel (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome To Canal Park (within shouting distance of this
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marker); Wabash & Erie Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome To Delphi (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Delphi.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 25, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 38 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 25, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 1, 2021