WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society will present “The Story of Ohio’s Canals: An Engineering Endeavor that can Still be Traced in Ohio’s Landscape” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, on the organization’s Facebook Live page, facebook.com/AuglaizeCountyHistory.
Courtesy of Auglaize County Historical Society:
Beginning in 1825, Ohio began constructing its canal system that eventually included nearly a thousand miles of channel and towpaths laced with stone locks and culverts, aqueducts, feeder lakes and slack water ponds. These canals opened up Ohio to world commerce allowing the export of surplus grains and manufactured goods and the import of items made in New York, London and Paris. Ohio’s canals linked the Great Lakes with the Ohio River and Ohio towns with markets in Chicago, Buffalo, and New York City and Pittsburgh, St. Louis and New Orleans. Canal builders negotiated Ohio’s diverse landscape as they traversed glacial moraines and the Allegheny Plateau. The ‘big ditch’ stitched the settlements of Ohio’s wilderness together and helped make it a player on the world’s stage.
About the speaker
Tom O’Grady sailed as a deck worker on an ore carrier on the Great Lakes aboard a sister-ship of the fated Edmund Fitzgerald, surveyed for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, launched the first comprehensive curbside recycling program in the state of Ohio and has been promoting waste reduction and sustainable economy for thirty years. O’Grady has also been an instructor of Observational Astronomy in the evenings at Ohio University for thirty years. He has spent a good deal of the past twenty-five years as a student of Ohio history researching its geography and settlement, the mound builders, Ohio canals, and several of its interesting characters and their stories.