The Excello Lock was part of the Miami & Erie Canal, which ran from Toledo to Cincinnati, Ohio, connecting the Great Lakes to the Ohio River. This was the first lock built on the system. The canal was started in 1825 and originally was intended to run from Middletown to Cincinnati. It ran were South Verity Parkway now runs. Later sections extended the route all the way to Toledo and Lake Erie, in the northern part of the state.
After years of neglect and competition from the railroads, the end of the canal was hastened by a spring flood that caused major damage to the canal in 1913. The railroads often took over the canal right of way. The canals followed a mostly level route and had a ready made road bed in the form of the tow path, not to mention an established customer base along the route. I'm sure the adjacent tracks came about in this way. There is no need to cross the tracks to get access to the park or work the cache.
Portions of the canal north of here still remain watered, with a canal boat operated near Toledo by the local parks department. After the boat traffic stopped, some canal sections continued to supply water to local industry. The smaller chamber diverted water to the old mill across the street, which made paper. There were numerous paper plants that sprung up along the canal routes since they used large amounts of water in their process.
Most of the route follows along the Miami River valley. Interstate 75 runs close to the route of the canal, passing through a number of cities that the canal help prosper and grow. You can still drive most of the route and observe the remaining structures and canal bed. Make sure to click the webpage link above.
This small park is open during daylight hours.
BE VERY CAREFUL NEAR THE LOCK AS THERE IS AN UNPROTECTED EDGE WITH A DROP,
as normally is found at lock sites. Keep the little ones under control.
While this cache has been in place for some time, I am including this with the recently listed Middletown caches, as it is an important piece to the area history. Thanks CC and SS for the the chance to participate.
Welcome to the Middletown History Tour (MHT) series of caches. This series of caches is designed to show you some interesting and historical places in Middletown Ohio. Middletown’s development was, in large part, attributed to the Miami-Erie canal. Early industry in Middletown included paper mills, steel mills and the tobacco industry. The prosperity of these early pioneers resulted in some beautiful homes in Middletown’s Historical District on South Main Street. Part of this tour will take you into this area. Enjoy the tour!