The Itinerant Worker's Cabin
Wabash and Erie Canal Park Trail
— Wabash & Erie Canal Park Village —
A Small Construction Camp Shanty
This Canal worker's shanty is constructed of actual canal-era timbers. Plain and simple, these temporary structures provided for the workers - offering a place to sleep, argue, joke, gamble, mediate and relax after putting in a 10 to 12 hour day of hard work digging a canal through a wilderness. Monthly wages averaged $10-$13 in the early 1830s and $18-$20 in the 1840s. Irish immigrants made up the bulk of the workforce constructing the Wabash and Erie Canal through Indiana. Although some shanties were made of logs, others may have been rough-sawn wooden boards available from 1840s mills in the vicinity.
A typical shanty town might feature larger bunk houses to accommodate 15 or 30 and for sheltering up to 100 men, while other shanties were small in size and were mere shacks. A nearby larger building could have space where workers and family members ate their meals. Even housing for single married families with children was provided. Others as large as 20'x20' provided a place to escape during inclement weather and where at night they slept on planks tiered one above the
When the canal was being dug near a settlement such as Delphi, temporary local worker could agree to provide meals for the laborers. Although a cook usually prepared meals on tables set outside, during inclement weather a larger shanty's indoor space could be used for serving food.
A hired cook prepares a meal
while workers are ending their
day of heavy work.
Erected by Tippecanoe Arts Federation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wabash & Erie Canal series list.
Location. 40° 35.425′ N, 86° 40.924′ 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 are within walking distance of this marker. Mule Barn (within shouting distance of this marker); Irish Canal Workers Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); "Pull Me" Boat (within shouting distance of this marker);
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 44 times since then. 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.