The Wabash and Erie Canal - Visit Historical Buildings | Delphi, Indiana

Historical Buildings

A Two Generation Jump in Time

During your walk through history, you'll find yourself two generations in the future as you approach the historical Railroad Depot. Take a look and see what there is to discover!

Click on a location and image to learn more.

view our full sized 1880s trackside depot

Railroad Depot

Calling all history buffs, curious minds, and railroad fanatics alike! Our Canal Park tells a story, spanning from a time when Indiana was still wild and untamed to when progress had finally ushered her into the modern day. Railroads moved passengers faster and year around and when compared to canal boat travel the public was ready to ‘ditch’ the boats for the more expedient travel on rails.

A rail depot such as this one would have allowed the average person the ability to go from one part of the country to another in terms of hours and days, rather than weeks and months. In the early days of traveling by rail, the average cost of a ticket was prohibitive to many, making it primarily a mode of travel for the wealthy. But over the course of a few decades, passenger trains became a common method of travel for anyone who needed to cover a considerable distance in a short time.

This attraction at the back of Canal Park next to the Monon Railroad embankment is an authentic train depot representing the 1880s. It was taken down and transported here in panel sections by our volunteers and re-erected to represent the end of the canal era when railroads out competed the water route for hauling revenues.

view a canal era relay system at the gray mule barn

Gray Mule Barn Replica

This replica barn represents a canal era “relay station” where fresh, rested towing animals would be housed ready for re-hitching.  About every 8-10 miles along the canal would be a similar barn for the boat’s crew to unhook their tired horses or mules and acquire fresh replacements. On eastern canals horses rather than mules were more common. But along the Wabash & Erie Canal mules were preferred by the captains as they could work longer and harder than horses.

Although when a mule knew it was stepping up to a barn with fresh replacements he would go on no further, period!

view a historic one room school house at the wabash and erie canal

Red School House     

Behind the Gray Mule Barn and the RV Park to the west is a historic one room school building that was disassembled and brought to Canal Park by our construction volunteers.  Originally named the Compromise School it sat along the Jefferson and Adams Township lines north of the Wabash River.  It was on a farm and when the school was built in the 1880s and abandoned in the 1920s. Then the vacant building was gutted and gained wide double doors to become a farm barn.  Later when farm machinery became too big to store these tools inside it became useless.  The farmer donated the building and our volunteers moved it to Canal Park.

view a canal era post office in delphi indiana

Post Office

This structure was relocated to Canal Park from Parrish Farms nearby Monticello, Indiana. The logs for the outside walls of this one-room schoolhouse were joined through use of a style of cut referred to as a saddle notch. Clay was generally used to “chink” or fill the spaces between the logs. Inside the benches separated by an isle in the middle contained the boys on the left and girls on the right. The schoolmaster ruled by the tune of the “hickory stick” and kept order as the multi-grade level kids were encouraged to learn.

rent a rustic canal era sleeping cabin

Rustic Canal Sleeping Cabins

These three rental log buildings are meant for overnight visitors stays.  The smallest is available for 1-2 persons, the mid-sized cabin could accommodate 3-4 persons and the largest would fit a larger family or multi-family outing. Check-in is handled by the resident RV Camp Host. Facilities nearby include flush toilet restrooms and shower enclosures at the towpath side of the Gray Barn. Check pricing and what you need to bring with you to rent and enjoy these quaint cabins.  For space availability check with the Reservations Coordinator 765-564-2870 or, reservations@canalcenter.org.

have a quaint wedding at our little white church

Little White Church

This 1889 German Lutheran Church was moved to its current location from near downtown Delphi. It quit having church services in the early 1950s.

A quaint historical chapel, we use this church to help celebrate small picturesque weddings and family gatherings. During World War I the word German was removed, and it became more simply the Lutheran Church.

immerse yourself in history at the wabash and erie canal

See the Interactive Map!

Get a closer look at Canal Park with our Interactive Map!

Group Tours

Group Tours

Reserve a time to bring your group, friends, or family down to the canal for learning and fun!
School Tours

School Tours

Make a reservation to bring your class to the canal for a fun and enriching experience.

COVID Announcement

COVID Announcement

Please read the announcement from the Canal Association’s Board.

Trails

Trails

Our beautiful and historic trails are OPEN! Learn more about the trails and get some fresh air.

Education

Education

It’s as important as it is a pleasure to learn about those who have come before us and all the brave and impressive things they did which led up to the modern world we live in today. Learn more from the Learning Center on our site, starting with Canal History.

Things to Do

Things to Do

Come one, come all! Whether you have a school group, an event that needs hosting, or you plan on making a day trip, there’s no shortage of fun activities, period architecture, and educational displays to keep you engaged and inspired during your time here.

Weddings & Events

Weddings & Events

Your wedding day is one of the most memorable and magical days of your life. Bring your family and your friends, and we’ll supply the atmosphere to make your big day one to remember with memories and photos full of old-world charm. Contact us to reserve the Chapel and Canal Boat.

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