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

Fort Wayne in Allen County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Wabash & Erie Canal

 
 
The Wabash & Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
1. The Wabash & Erie Canal Marker
Inscription.  Anchoring the southern edge of the Headwaters Park “Thumb” until circa 1874, the Wabash & Erie Canal’s importance to transportation to the western part of the United States and to the growth of Fort Wayne was substantial. Headwaters Park is on the “Summit” or highest elevation of the canal project and dependent upon the waters of the St. Joseph River to function. Ground breaking for the canal was held on February 22, 1832. The grand opening was celebrated here, connecting Lake Erie with Lafayette, Indiana, on July 4, 1843. By 1853, the line connected with Evansville, Indiana, on the Ohio River. Its 468 miles established it as the longest canal in the western hemisphere and second longest in the world, behind the Grand Canal of China. By bridging the land portage between the Maumee River east of the park with the Wabash River at the Forks of the Wabash in Huntington, Indiana, to the west, the Wabash & Erie Canal made possible continuous water traffic between the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Gulf of Mexico. Because of improved transportation, markets developed encouraging both commerce and agriculture - and people followed
Great Meadow in Headwaters Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., December 30, 2008
2. Great Meadow in Headwaters Park
Several markers along path circling the Great Meadow, looking south with downtown Fort Wayne in background.
in droves. Later, railroad competition reduced the effectiveness of the canal, and the old waterway route was filled in to be replaced with railroad tracks. Today, standing on what was once a four-feet deep canal under the railroad elevation, one can view the expanse of Headwaters Park.
 
Erected by City of Fort Wayne and Superior Essex.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wabash & Erie Canal series list.
 
Location. 41° 5.149′ N, 85° 8.285′ W. Marker is in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in Allen County. Marker is one of a series that ring the Great Meadow in Headwaters Park. This marker is just west of the Little Turtle sculpture. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 333 S Clinton Street, Fort Wayne IN 46802, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Little Turtle (within shouting distance of this marker); Earliest Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Duck Creek: Early Industry and Business Development (within shouting distance of this marker); Miami Legend of the Sandhill Crane
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Jail Flats (within shouting distance of this marker); League Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Emerine Jane Holman Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); The Fur Traders and the Military at Fort Wayne (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Wayne.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 13, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,423 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 13, 2009, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 10, 2020