Auglaize historical society to host presentation on Miami-Erie Canal

Staff report

ST. MARYS — The Auglaize County Historical Society will host a presentation by Neal Brady on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m., in the Community Room of Otterbein-St. Marys, 11230 State Route 364, St. Marys. The event is free and open to the public, and is presented as part of the Historical Society’s current heritage tourism initiative.

Entitled “An Armchair Tour of the Miami-Erie Canal In Motion,” Mr. Brady’s highly illustrated program will highlight the many unique sites and appealing communities along the length of this waterway.

Explains Rachel Barber, administrator of the Auglaize County Historical Society, “In the past several years Ohio Humanities has generously provided two grants for heritage tourism to our county. We first identified an umbrella theme for the county, since In Motion reflects our many local transportation- and motion-related sites. Now we’re implementing the In Motion theme with programming, publications, and new collaborative efforts. Neal’s presentation will be a fascinating overview of the Miami-Erie Canal, which opened up so much of Auglaize County to settlement and development.”

The Miami and Erie Canal ran about 274 miles from Cincinnati, to Toledo , creating a water route from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. At its peak, it included 19 aqueducts, three guard locks, 103 canal locks, multiple feeder canals, and several human-made reservoirs. The canal climbed 395 feet above Lake Erie and 513 feet above the Ohio River to reach a topographical peak called the Loramie Summit, which extended 19 miles between New Bremen and Lockington. Because of competition from railroads, which began in the 1850s, the commercial use of the canal gradually declined during the late 19th century. It was permanently abandoned for commercial use after the 1913 Flood.

Neil Brady has served as the Executive Director of the Miami-Erie Canal Corridor Association since 2003. A native of Hocking County, Brady holds a degree in Park and Recreation Administration from the Ohio State University, as well as a master’s degree in business from Wright State University.

The Auglaize County Historical Society was founded in 1963. The Auglaize County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and shares the history of Auglaize County and its people through exhibits, programs, and publications.

Ohio Humanities serves as an advocate for the public humanities in Ohio. Ohio Humanities promotes the humanities through public programs, grants, and community projects with the goal of helping individuals and communities explore, share, and be inspired by the human experience.

For more information about this or other Auglaize County Historical Society programming, please email or call 419-738-9328.

Staff report