The Wabash & Erie Canal

The Wabash & Erie Canal (HMB39)

Location: Fort Wayne, IN 46802 Allen County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 5.149', W 85° 8.285'

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Anchoring the southern edge of the Headwaters Park "Thumb" until circa 1874, the Wabash & Erie Canal's importance to transportation to the western part of the United States and to the growth of Fort Wayne was substantial. Headwaters Park is on the "Summit" or highest elevation of the canal project and dependent upon the waters of the St. Joseph River to function. Ground breaking for the canal was held on February 22, 1832. The grand opening was celebrated here, connecting Lake Erie with Lafayette, Indiana, on July 4, 1843. By 1853, the line connected with Evansville, Indiana, on the Ohio River. Its 468 miles established it as the longest canal in the western hemisphere and second longest in the world, behind the Grand Canal of China. By bridging the land portage between the Maumee River east of the park with the Wabash River at the Forks of the Wabash in Huntington, Indiana, to the west, the Wabash & Erie Canal made possible continuous water traffic between the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Gulf of Mexico. Because of improved transportation, markets developed encouraging both commerce and agriculture - and people followed in droves. Later, railroad competition reduced the effectiveness of the canal, and the old waterway route was filled in to be replaced with railroad tracks. Today, standing on what was once a four-feet deep canal under the railroad elevation, one can view the expanse of Headwaters Park.
HM NumberHMB39
Series This marker is part of the Wabash & Erie Canal series
Placed ByCity of Fort Wayne and Superior Essex
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 at 2:53am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 656390 N 4549953
Decimal Degrees41.08581667, -85.13808333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 5.149', W 85° 8.285'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 5' 8.94" N, 85° 8' 17.10" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)260
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 211 Barr St, Fort Wayne IN 46802, US
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