Spring '10

From the President

By David G. Barber

This is the spring issue. So maybe the tundra will be thawing and cabin fever will be driving you out of the house, even in arctic, deep snow areas like Maryland and Virginia. When you get out there, please take along your camera, notebook, and GPS receiver to document what you find. Don’t think that all has been discovered or recorded, because it hasn’t. This is even true of well known waterways. I keep finding gaps in the written record despite numerous books on a particular canal. So it is most important to update the record as to what is there today.

I find it very interesting when someone tells me that Lock X on waterway Y still exists, but is covered by a roof or filled in with the cap stones showing or used to be under a building that was just torn down. Better yet, when GPS coordinates and photos are supplied. When we know where to look and what direction to look, a lot can be seen on online aerial photos, even if it is hundreds of miles away from home. When you find such structures, we will be happy to add your photos and the coordinates to the ACS web site. That way the information can grow, rather than being lost again.

For exercise, there are hundreds of miles of canals available for your exploration. These include the entire Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, the Delaware Canal, most of the Delaware & Raritan Canal and feeder, major parts of the Lehigh Canal, parts of the Blackstone Canal, much of the Ohio & Erie Canal, much of the Miami and Erie Canal, much of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and all of the Hennepin Canal and feeder. There are also pieces of many others that are preserved as parks and the totals keep growing. Other places, you need to ask permission, but there are possibilities.

When you find something that is not in our index files, please record it and send that in and write an article for American Canals so that we all learn about it. There are little hints about former locks, aqueducts and canals all over the place. Those who follow this hobby for any time have found that many “lost” structures are still there in the jungle. Please help find them.

Elsewhere in this issue, you will find paragraphs on various boat rides you can take on our historic waterways. Do seek them out. There is also information on our ACS web site.

In September, the 2010 World Canals Conference will be held in Rochester, NY. This will probably be one of the biggest canal conferences ever. There will be many interesting people to meet from around the world and much to learn and see. So do plan on attending.

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