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Near Spencerville in Allen County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut / Miami & Erie Canal

Anthony Wayne Parkway

 
 
Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
1. Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut Marker
Inscription.  
Miami & Erie Canal, Deep Cut

You are on that section of the Miami and Erie Canal where the greatest excavation was made – a section that has been known over the years as “Deep Cut.” The huge ditch, 6,600 feet long and 5 to 52 feet deep, was dug and blasted through the tough blue-clay ridge which separates the St. Marys watershed from that of the Auglaize.

Strong-muscled farm boys, brawny Irishmen, and sometimes convicts, sentenced to hard labor, toiled here with picks, shovels, and barrows, from sun-up to sun-down for 30 cents a day. They lived in shabby, unsanitary camps and were often ravaged by malaria and other diseases. Bad blood among the construction gangs and whisky, which “flowed like water,” led to frequent brawls.

Spencer Township, Allen County, where this marker is located, and Spencerville, just to the north, are both named in honor of Colonel William Spencer, member of the State Board of Public Works which had charge of Ohio’s canal system.

Miami & Erie Canal

This spot, not long ago, was the scene of bustling
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canal traffic. The clump of mules’ hoofs along the tow path, the crack of the hard-bitten drivers’ whips, and the creaking of the loaded packet and cargo boats were familiar sounds in this vicinity.

Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York and Governor Jeremiah Morrow of Ohio removed the first earth for the canal, July 21, 1825, just below Middletown. By 1845, boats were plying the “Big Ditch” from Cincinnati to Toledo.

In traversing the 249-mile canal, boats had to be raised to the Loramie Summit, 512 feet above the Ohio River, and then lowered 395 feet to the Lake Erie level. To accomplish this, 108 stone and wooden locks were built. To supply the canal with a constant flow of water, 3 large reservoirs and many river dams were constructed.

At the peak of operation, 400 boats plied the canal, providing Ohio with badly needed transportation. Cascading waters at the locks made the wheels of hundreds of mills and factories hum. The country through which the canal passed changed from a wilderness to an agricultural paradise. By the early 1900’s, however, this colorful and profitable period had come to an end. The railroads had taken over.
 
Erected 1961 by Allen County Historical Society, in cooperation with, The Anthony Wayne Parkway Board.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these
Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
2. Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut Marker
Close up view showing the map of the Miami and Erie Canal that is part of this historical marker.
topic lists: Industry & CommerceLandmarksWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks, and the The Miami & Erie Canal series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is July 21, 1825.
 
Location. 40° 41.072′ N, 84° 21.931′ W. Marker is near Spencerville, Ohio, in Allen County. Marker is on Ohio Route 66, 0.2 miles north of Deep Cut Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spencerville OH 45887, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Miami And Erie Canal Deep Cut (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Spencerville Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); Spencerville (approx. 1.3 miles away); Miami-Erie Canal (approx. 1˝ miles away); Miami – Erie Canal (approx. 1.6 miles away); Bowersock Bros. Post No. 6772 Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.6 miles away); Village of Spencerville (approx. 1.7 miles away); a different marker also named Village of Spencerville (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spencerville.
 
Miami & Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
3. Miami & Erie Canal Marker
Miami & Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
4. Miami & Erie Canal Marker
Close up view of the "profile of Canal Channel, South to North across Ohio."
Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
5. Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut Marker
View looking north of this historical marker on the eastern rim of the "Deep Cut."
Miami & Erie Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
6. Miami & Erie Canal Marker
View looking south of the historical marker situated on the eastern rim of the "Deep Cut."
Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
7. Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut
View looking north of the Miami and Erie Canal at the southern end of the "Deep Cut."
Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
8. Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut
View of "Deep Cut" Historical Park sign situated along the western side of state route 66, with a view of the Allen County - Auglaize County line marker in the distant background on the eastern side of state route 66.
Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
9. Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut
View of the nearby Registered National Historic Landmark marker for the Miami and Erie Canal Deep Cut.
Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
10. Miami & Erie Canal Deep Cut
A close up view of the nearby Registered National Historic Landmark marker for the Miami and Erie Canal Deep Cut.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 29, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 3,433 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 29, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 4, 2024