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Wabash Indiana

The Wabash and Erie Canal

The name Wabash derives from the Miami-Illinois phrase water over white stones; the Miami name reflected the clarity of the river whose bottom is limestone.

Wabash IndianaThe Wabash Post Office has been Operating since 1839

The first electrically lighted city in the world was inaugurated on March 31, 1880. The Wabash courthouse grounds were lighted with four 3,000-candle power lamps suspended from the top of the courthouse. Two telegraph wires ran from the lamps to the courthouse basement, where they were connected to a threshing machine to provide power.

Wabash is Home to Several Historic Districts

Wabash and Erie Canal mapThe Wabash and Erie Canal provided traders with access from the Great Lakes to the Ohio River; 460 miles long, it was the longest canal ever built in North America. The waterway was a combination of four canals: the Miami and Erie, the original Wabash and Erie from Junction to Terre Haute, Indiana, the Cross-Cut Canal from Terre Haute to Point Commerce, and the Central Canal from Worthington to Evansville.

The Interpretive Center is an open-air village located on the banks of the canal in Delphi, Indiana. The interpretive center includes a model canal with a miniature reservoir, aqueduct, lock, and gristmill. The model canal boat General Grant shows the type of boats that carried freight on the canal during its final years of full-scale operation from the 1860s to 1874.

The Wabash & Erie Canal Association is dedicated to Indiana’s Canal Heritage

Wabash and Erie Canal Canal Park DelphiTravel along the canal was accomplished by canal freight and passenger packets. The passenger packet consisted of a series of rooms and a main saloon where meals were taken. This room was converted into a men’s dorm for sleeping. The women’s saloon was towards the back of the boat.

The Packets were Pulled by Horses and Oxen

The Route was from Toledo on Lake Erie to Fort Wayne. From here, it follows the historic Indian portage to the Wabash River, then heads downstream to Delphi and, using several other river ways, it reaches the Ohio River.

Wabash and Erie Canal Delphi




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