Thursday, June 17, 2010
the coolest office in town...
Here's the new building, affectionately known as "The Lockkeeper's House." Our Chamber of Commerce offices moved in a couple weeks ago and I have to say that I think we now have the coolest offices in town! The new building stands in exactly the same place the old lockkeeper's house stood when it was built in the mid 1800's. It is nearly the same size as the original but of course everything is 21st century in and out.
This is a view of the Miami and Erie canal, looking southward from a bridge beside the lockkeeper's house. The canal was constructed between 1825 and 1845, connecting the Ohio River with Lake Erie and opened up western Ohio to the world. Many small "canal towns" sprang up in advance of, or along the canal corridor as it developed. By the later 1800's the railroads developed into the primary mode of long-distance transportation and the canal system slowly died off.
This view is from the same bridge looking north to "Lock One North" in our little town. This lock lies along the highest section (in elevation) of the canal. Locks were used to raise and lower the canal boats as they made their way along the canal. They were drawn by rope with mules, walking along the "towpath." The German, Irish and French immigrants who dug and built the canal were paid $.30 and a gill (1/4 pint) of whiskey per day. Today, the canal serves as a pleasant reminder of a bygone era and beautiful backdrop for our community. It's an honor and a priviledge to have our Chamber in such an important and historic building. Within the walls of the Lockkeeper's house, we'll have historic artifacts, photos and documents along with interpretive displays and exhibits that tell the tale of the canal from the Ohio River to Lake Erie.