From the President
By David G. Barber
I’ve recently been upgrading the ACS web site, converting
it from the old base program that was not up to today’s standards to a new base
program that is. In the process of this and some recent canal trips, I have come
across progress that I want to share with you.
First, in 2010, the restoration of the
(a state park for its entire sixty miles) in Pennsylvania from flood damage from three
“100 year” floods was completed. In March, it seemed to be weathering the spring
floods then happening with minimal new damage. The most interesting event on
this canal was in Bristol,
PA. If you look at Google earth
aerials from April, 2010, you will still see Snyder Elementary School
built across the line of the canal (despite the canal being a state park) as it
has been since the 1950s. But, the school was old and a new school was being
built nearby (off the canal alignment) when last the Pennsylvania Canal Society
toured there. If you look at the most recent views of the site on Google earth,
Snyder Elementary School is gone. If you then
look at the Levittown
Shopping Center, you will
see that the recent redevelopment of the center has no buildings or parking
areas on the canal alignment. Thus, for the first time in 60 or so years there
are no buildings obstructing the canal route. Only highways and one railroad
Another site I visited recently is New Bremen, OH where at
and Erie Canal Lock 1 north, the lock house has been rebuilt as a corridor
office and museum next to the recently restored lock. The area now looks much
like it did in historic times. Congratulations to the community and to the Miami and Erie Canal
Corridor Association and partners for this.
A third site to note is Tinkers Creek Aqueduct on the
Ohio and Erie Canal in the
Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
On the watered section of the canal, the old Tinkers Creek Aqueduct was in
danger of collapse and was removed a few years ago and replaced by pipes and a
pedestrian bridge for the towpath. When I passed the site in early April, a
contractor had removed the new bridge and pipes and was busily rebuilding the
aqueduct. Photos are in the photo section of the web site.
Meanwhile in Berlin, Wisconsin,
the Berlin Boat Club is actively working to raise funds for the regating and
return to service of Eureka Lock. This will reconnect the harbor facilities at Berlin to Lake Winnebago.
An article on this was in the last American Canals. They have many fund
raising events planned for this year.
On the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin, lock and
bridge restoration has reached the point that eight of the seventeen locks will
be open on summer weekends and holidays and a few of these will have added
operating days. In a few more years, they plan to restore the remainder.
So, despite a slow economy, restoration progress is being