From Erie to Panama, American Canals played a vital historical and economical role in the growth of the United States and cities throughout the country; especially, in the eastern states were canals were in use long before the iron horse came speeding along the industrial era.

In 1972 the American Canal Society was formed with the purpose “to encourage the preservation, restoration, interpretation and usage of the navigation canals of the United States, past and present.” From its beginnings, the society has produced the quarterly American Canals. The periodical provides information on North American canals and waterways, both past and present. Taking the best articles from years of publications, the society has created The Best From American Canals series. The Best From American Canals Number V covers from February 1989 to February 1991 and is reviewed here.

Finding historical information about the building and use of canals within these pages goes without saying. In fact, the second article in this book is a six-page expose on the history of the Panama Canal. However, these articles go much further than I expected when picking up this series. In these pages, the reader will find discussions on boat types, canal bike tours, historical industrial changes to canal usage like the “electric mule,” canal restoration, personal experiences some have had with canals, and much more.

This publication allows the reader to quickly access information on one of America’s most historically critical infrastructures. The surprising part is just how enjoyable it is to delve into this, often missed, part of American history.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction
Table of Contents
Canal Bain Now Growing Shad
History of the Panana Canal (Shank)
Canals of the Cradle of Civilization (Whyte)
Canal Boat Types of the Ohio & Erie (Woods)
Erie Canal Bicycle Tour
Winter Cruising, Florida’s Inland Waterways (Ross)
Silas Pratt’s Boom Town (Reynolds)
Quimby’s Boating Guide (Ross)
Old Man – Old Bike – Old Canal (Mead)
The Middlesex Canal (Proctor)
Lake Erie-Ohio River Canal Re-study (Reid)
D&R Canal Commission Gets Teeth
ACS-MCA Meeting and Tours (Gerber)
Restoration of Wolfe Island Canal
When the Irion Horse was Foaled (Demer)
The “Electric Mule” (Crout)
Louisville-Portland Canal 1837 (Dzombak)
“Ben Franklin III” at Matamora
Joint ACS-CCS Canal Meeting (Russell)
“National Waterway” Publication (Gray)
New Heritage Corridor – Ohio
Pennsylvania Canal Company 1867-1926 (Shank)
Black Warrior River (Ross)
“Canawler” President – Garfield (Kipp)
Steamboatin’ Thro’ Barkley Canal (Russell)
Engineering Notes on Wooden Locks (Schmitt)
Treetop Canal! (Dzombak)
Fox River Crisis (Ross)
How Chicago River was Reversed (Shank)
Canvass White – Hero of the Erie Canal
“Pier Pressure” (Ross)
Middlebury Branch of the P&O (Woods)
The Search for Lock Five (Woods)
Any Port in a Storm? (Ross)
Canal Society of NJ visits the D&H (Russell)
Severn River Safari
Hennepin Canal Boat Trips
Delaware & Hudson Heritage Corridor
“Weighlock Sensitivity” 1835 (Dzombak)
St. Marys Falls Canal (Meseck-Shank)
Canal Bridge Saved (Woods)
Morris Canal Restoration (Gordon)
“Elevator Shaft” Locks (Ross)
“W.P. Snyder” Designated Historic Landmark
Old Waterways – Antique or Historic (Ross)
Alleghany Aqueduct Restored
Hugh Moore Festival Breaks Records
The “Douglas Walk” (Wooden)
When Canal Boats Carried Steamboats (Russell)
1875 Outlet Lock at Cleveland (Woods)
Dismal Swamp Canal (Gerber-Hopper)
New Locks Eliminate Mississippi Bottleneck (Meseck)
A Canaller’s Diary – 1888 (Charles)
A Canal Movie
Backward Lock Gates? (Trout)
Lafayette Revisits America – 1824 (Dzombak)
International Canal Conference (Sutherland)
Report on the Fox Rover & Portage Canal (Kreist)
Lockington Locks – Canal Stairway (Mueller)
ACS Membership Distribution
“Valley Gem” Sternwheeler – Muskingum
Pennsylvania Canal Soc. Visits the C&D (Russell)
Dixie’s Deviant Ditch (Ross)
Genessee Valley Canal (Kipp)
Lehigh-Delaware Corridor Goals (Harry)
Capacity for Navigation Vs. Reason (Ross)
Rehabilitation of Cape May Canal (Russell)
Making of a Canal Buff
Twenty-five Miles to Nowhere (Woods)
“Main Street” on the I&M Canal
Trent-Severn Canal (Huber)
China’s Grand Canal (Abrams)
Rhine-Main-Danube Canal Update (Squires)
Holiday in England (Squires)
ACS Member #2000 (Derr)
Barton Swing-Aqueduct (Russell)
A Visit tot China (Squires)
Lingqu Canal (Squires)
Canal Crusing in Northern German (Squires)
St. Catherines Museum
Index

 

Copies of The Best From American Canals Number V are available from Family Roots Publishing; Price: $7.79.