: This photograph shows Rupp’s Canal Store on the Miami and Erie Canal in Waterville, Ohio, in the 1880s. The building is a three-story structure situated on a boardwalk running along the canal. A canal boat is moored in front of the store, tied to a hitching post on the boardwalk. A man and a young child (facing the camera) are standing near the store. Rupp’s Canal Store was opened in 1854 by Orrin Gillett and William Dyer. Over the years it has several owners until purchased by Jacob Rupp, who renamed it Rupp’s Canal Store. It was one of the busiest places of commerce in Waterville during the canal era. The completion of the Miami and Erie Canal through Waterville in 1843 began a short-lived prosperous era for the village. Businesses mushroomed along its banks, and Westerville’s business center shifted from Main Street (now River Road) to Third Street, where it remains today. Most canals remained in operation in Ohio until the late 1800s. By the 1850s canals were losing business to the railroads, which offered several advantages. Railroads delivered passengers and goods more quickly, and they were not limited by a water source as canals were. Because of these advantages, railroads quickly supplanted the canals.
The Miami and Erie Canal, connecting Toledo to Cincinnati, joined the Wabash and Erie Canal to Indiana. The Waterville section of the canal was completed in 1843. Boats pulled by mules or horses walking on the canal banks hauled farm products, commercial goods, and people. In 1851 there were approximately 400 boats operating on the canal. Hotels, stores, and mills sprung up along its banks. Canal operations ceased in 1909 as railroads and automobiles became faster and cheaper means of travel. During the 1930s and 1940s the canal bed was filled in to become the Anthony Wayne Trail, U. S. Route 24
View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06113 Subjects
: Canals--Ohio--History--19th century; Miami and Erie Canal (Ohio)--History; Lucas County (Ohio); Waterville (Ohio); Ohio Economy--Transportation and Development Places
: Waterville (Ohio); Lucas County (Ohio)