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100 Years Ago


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Canal Era - Transportation

After being persuaded by local citizens in the fall of 1831, the members of the Ohio Canal Commission decided to build the canal feeder from the Miami-Erie Canal at Lockington through Sidney to Port Jefferson. Completed in 1845, the canal feeder furnished water to the main canal from the Great Miami River. It had an immediate effect on commerce here. Local merchants and manufacturers could ship and receive goods much more quickly than before. However, travel was still slow by today's standards, (as reported in the "Shelby County Democrat" on May 7, 1852), a trip to Lockington from Sidney took eight hours. Construction and opening of the canal also meant an influx of new settlers, and thus new customers. The population of Sidney, Ohio, swelled from 713 in 1840 to 1,284 in 1850. Many laborers who worked on the canal (primarily German and French immigrants) settled in the county. The ‘Canal Era’, during which the 14 mile long Miami and Erie Canal Feeder from Port Jefferson through Sidney to Lockington was constructed, generated the area’s first major economic stimulus for growth.

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Industry segment written in January, 1998 by Rich Wallace

 

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