Learn & Discover
After we opened the facility in 2004 the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) named it “the best new volunteer driven museum in all the United States.” We welcome you to tour this national award-winning feature in our Interpretive Center. It’s also the only museum designed to tell the whole story of the Wabash & Erie Canal’s 44-year operational history. From the vision of George Washington to the final collapse of the Canal in 1876, you will learn about the impact the Canal had on the development of the Midwest and your young country.
History of the Canal
The Canal “highway,” comparable to our modern interstates, brought people and products to Indiana and the Midwest during the mid-1800’s. Canal construction began in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1832. Upon completion in 1853, the Canal spanned 468 miles from Toledo, Ohio on Lake Erie to Evansville, Indiana on the Ohio River. It provided a water route over the subtle Midwestern continental divide that connected New York harbor with the Mississippi River, New Orleans, and the Gulf of Mexico. You will trace the routes travelers took before the construction of the Canal and the “convenience” the canal boats brought to them.
click on an image for a larger view
Take a Gander!
In the lobby of the Interpretive Center you will be welcomed by a series of oil paintings that highlight historic sites along the Canal from Toledo to Evansville.
In the museum, you will encounter unique interactive exhibits which provide an exciting way for children and adults to learn about the Canal. You can operate a lock, visit a full-sized canal boat cabin and stretch out on the bunks. Learn how our local papermills produced paper from discarded rag clothing or products from native bedrock in massive lime kilns that produced plaster mortar and whitewash. Visit the millinery shop where kids get to dress themselves in one of our period costumes—and much more!
The museum will be closed January-February 2023 for updates and repairs. It will re-open March 1, 2023.
Normal Hours of Operation
Monday-Saturday 1 PM - 4 PM
Give us a visit and spark your imagination with our kid friendly interactive museum in Delphi!
Volunteer Opportunities at Canal Park
Wabash & Erie Canal Park continues to grow by regularly adding new attractions in the Park, including buildings of the Canal era. A group of volunteers that enjoy the work of restoring, reproducing and maintaining those historic structures which were built a hundred plus years ago are beginning the spring season with new enthusiasm. Additional workers are always welcome.
See the Interactive Map!
Get a closer look at Canal Park with our Interactive Map!
Make a reservation to bring your class to the canal for a fun and enriching experience.
Our beautiful and historic trails are OPEN! Learn more about the trails and get some fresh air.
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
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
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.