The Wabash and Erie Canal - Canal History | Delphi, Indiana

History

Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc.

On February 19, 1971, the first local meeting concerning the improvement and preservation of the Wabash & Erie Canal in Carroll County was held at the Tom McCain residence near the current Red Bridge Settlement. In 1973, the non-profit organization named the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc. was formed to preserve the Canal in Carroll County and honor the significance of the Canal Era in Indiana's history. The founding members recognized the importance of preserving this section as the only accessible portion of the Wabash & Erie Canal which still had water in it.

view our canal park through this interactive map

Founders Point

On February 19, 1971, the Canal Association founders had a vision for reclaiming, restoring, preserving and protecting Wabash & Erie Canal sites and artifacts, and educating those unaware of the profound impact the mid-nineteenth century Canal had on populating and developing this section of the United States.

In the honor of those visionary founders, the area at the north end of the Canal next to the "tumble," where the water cascades into the Canal from the stone quarry, has been christened Founders Point.

Water in the Canal!

The existing portion of the Wabash & Erie Canal in Delphi is approximately two and a half miles long. It is the longest and only water-filled portion of the Wabash & Erie Canal which is publicly accessible and usable in Indiana. Nearly bisecting its length is the 1901 stone arch bridge that allows North Washington Street passage over the canal bed. While canal boats never navigated beneath it, it did provide a unique challenge when the Reed Case House carefully traversed it in 1986.

In 1951, a flood control levee was built to protect the northwest section of Delphi, and the canal bed above it was returned to cultivation. With limited water supplied to the remaining canal bed, it became weed-clogged, neglected, and abandoned. In 1995, through an agreement among Delphi Limestone Company, the City of Delphi and Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc., Delphi Limestone agreed to construct the means needed to divert and release three million gallons of water per day into the upper end of the Canal. Water, pumped from the company’s quarry, previously had gone directly into the Wabash River. Now part of it still enters the river and the remainder feeds the Canal.

Twenty-five years after the founding of the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc., at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, March 10, 1997, Bill Draper, Ed Gruber and crew witnessed the beginning release of the millions of gallons of water diverted by Delphi Limestone into the Canal.

Canal Park Annex

Delphi Limestone Company and its parent company, US Aggregates, donated land which was dedicated in October of 1994 as Canal Park Annex. This secluded acreage at the end of Packet Avenue is a natural for picnics and quiet walks. Visible from the Annex is the Canal, the old belt railway bed and the restored Paint Creek Bridge. Delphi Rotary Club members built an attractive shelter house at the Annex. The Annex is the location of the warehouse for storing the canal boat, The Delphi.

Peters-Revington Access Road

The 1996 construction crew, headed by Bill Draper, carved out and topped with limestone, an access road encircling the parking areas in Canal Park, changing the official entrance in time for the 1996 Fourth of July celebration. The road diverts vehicular traffic from the Canal towpath (original access), which serves now as a pedestrian trail. The new two-lane road now paved leads to an ample parking area.

The Martin Property

When private property southwest of the Reed Case House became available for purchase in 1993, the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc. bought the property to enlarge the Park and obtain the towpath for trail expansion. During the 1997 annual Earth Day observance, the trail through the property, throughout the Wabash & Erie Canal Park was created by a group of Workday volunteers.

Water-Lock

Restored-Kiln

MillPivotBridge

Boat-dock

rental-cabins

pull-boat

play-boat

stone-bridge

bank-barn

interpretive-center

ReedCaseHouse

ticket-booth

gray-bridge

icon-parking

Parking available

icon-parking

Parking available

icon-parking

Parking available

Red-Bridge

stables

boat-warehouse

ShelterHouse

PostOffice

Depot

host your quinceanera with the wabash and erie canal

Canal Park Property

Canal Park was made possible through the generosity and foresight of Peters-Revington. Inc., (known as the “Furniture Factory”) whose owners donated the land adjacent to the Canal. 

The Martin Property

When private property southwest of the Reed Case House became available for purchase in 1993, the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc. bought the property to enlarge the Park and obtain the towpath for trail expansion. During the 1997 annual Earth Day observance, the trail through the property, throughout the Wabash & Erie Canal Park was created by a group of Workday volunteers.

Peters-Revington Access Road

Delphi Limestone Company and its parent company, US Aggregates, donated land which was dedicated in October of 1994 as Canal Park Annex. This secluded acreage lays at the end of Packet Avenue is a natural for picnics and quiet walks. Visible property contains the Canal, the old belt railway bed and the restored Paint Creek Bridge. Delphi Rotary Club members built an attractive shelter house near the center of the plot. By 2009 this little park became the host of the Hubbard and Harley warehouse for storing the canal boat, The Delphi.

Water in the Canal!

The existing portion of the Wabash & Erie Canal in Delphi is approximately two and a half miles long. It is the longest and only water-filled portion of the Wabash & Erie Canal which is publicly accessible and usable in Indiana. Nearly bisecting its length is the 1901 stone arch bridge that allows North Washington Street passage over the canal bed. While canal boats never navigated beneath it, it did provide a unique challenge when the Reed Case House carefully traversed it in 1986.

In 1951, a flood control levee was built to protect the northwest section of Delphi, and the canal bed above it was returned to cultivation. With limited water supplied to the remaining canal bed, it became weed-clogged, neglected, and abandoned. In 1995, through an agreement among Delphi Limestone Company, the City of Delphi and Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc., Delphi Limestone agreed to construct the means needed to divert and release three million gallons of water per day into the upper end of the Canal. Water, pumped from the company’s quarry, previously had gone directly into the Wabash River. Now part of it still enters the river and the remainder feeds the Canal.

Twenty-five years after the founding of the Carroll County Wabash & Erie Canal, Inc., at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, March 10, 1997, Bill Draper, Ed Gruber and crew witnessed the beginning release of the millions of gallons of water diverted by Delphi Limestone into the Canal.

Founders Point

On February 19, 1971, the Canal Association founders had a vision for reclaiming, restoring, preserving and protecting Wabash & Erie Canal sites and artifacts, and educating those unaware of the profound impact the mid-nineteenth century Canal had on populating and developing this section of the United States.

In the honor of those visionary founders, the area at the north end of the Canal next to the "tumble," where the water cascades into the Canal from the stone quarry, has been christened Founders Point.

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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