Crossing the Canal in Carroll County, Indiana
— Wabash & Erie Canal Park Village —
A Variety of Bridges Solve Many Problems
When the Wabash & Erie Canal cut through an Indiana wilderness, its 40 feet wide channel of water created challenges for those who wished to cross from one side to the other. Pedestrians, horse-drawn wagons, boat-towing animals, farmers and their livestock found the Canal's waters often obstructed their path. During the Canal Era beginning in 1840 here in Carroll County, Indiana, a variety of bridges erected were typical of the various types found on the 468 mile long Wabash & Erie Canal.
1. Small Pivot Bridge at Deer Creek Guard Lock
There is no official record of such a bridge at this site, however, archaeologists have suggested that future surveys may uncover such evidence,
2. Towing Path Bridge at Deer Creek Dam Spillway
In 1874 the last boat traveling north from Lafayette approached the Deer Creek Dam. The aging wooden structure could no longer endure the load and as the team of mules crossed the rotting footboards, the towpath bridge and crib dam gave way. Both the driver and the team were swept away and drowned.
In 1849, after local citizens complained about the condition of the road bridge at Franklin Street, officials approved a new pivot or turn bridge as a replacement. At its dedication, Alice V. Jackson, daughter of the sheriff and later the wife Edwin B. Armitage, was chosen to draw the bridge to pass through the first canal packet.
4. Road Bridge at Washington Street
At the time of the Canal's opening in Delphi this site was spanned with an arched heavy timbered structure. There was space on the towpath side for mules to continue plodding along without posts impeding their progress. However, its long span made it impractical for supporting heavy loads.: It has been replaced by a beautiful stone bridge that crosses Washington Street over the Canal while The Delphi packet passes below.
5. Road Bridge at Founders' Point
"Road Bridge, No. 47, crossing the canal where it occupies the Delphi bayou. This bridge is three times the common length."Because of a naturally occurring wide bayou through which the Canal passed, the bridge's long span may have required a support pier set at a point in the Canal bed. This location is named "Founders' Point" to celebrate those who first conceived the idea for Canal Park.
6. Change Bridge at Paragon on Lake Wabash
7. Carrollton Towing Path Bridge across the Wabash River
Five miles below this covered bridge, the Wabash River was dammed to create a slackwater or lake. First built in 1844, this bridge was the Canal's only main line crossing of the Wabash. Designed with five fixed spans, a draw timber section was added which could be lifted away for passing river steamboats. An outside tramway beside the inner deck contained a mule- powered tram on tracks, which carried the towing lines across the river. A low railing, allowed the towrope to draw the boat to cross Lake Wabash.
8. Burnett's Creek Arch Repurposed as a Road Bridge
An arch or a culvert is used to span an opening as well as support weight from above. Primarily built to allow the Canal to cross high over an important stream,
* Jesse Lynch Williams, "1847 Report of the Chief Engineer Description of the Condition of Canal at the Commencement of the Trust, to the Board of Trustees," Documentary Journal.
Although there is no record of a pedestrian bridge in Carroll County some communities provided them for foot traffic.
Erected by Barry Nichols.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wabash & Erie Canal series list.
Location. 40° 35.5′ N, 86° 40.8′ W. Marker is in Delphi, Indiana, in Carroll County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West North Washington Street and North 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
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 40 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 25, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.