“The Big Ditch” is a 308-mile Canalway carved into the Ohio frontier over seven grueling years. What was hailed as the smoothest ride in transportation is a turbulent story.
On July 4, 1825, ground broke for two canals that would flow goods from New Orleans to New York City, and Ohio was the heart of it all, connecting world commerce to America’s frontier! The Ohio and Erie Canal was dug by hand from Portsmouth and the Ohio River to Cleveland and Lake Erie. Then from Lake Erie to the Hudson River, stretched the Erie Canal. Born was the young nation’s first national transportation system. But it was not without blood, sweat, and disease.
For decades, canals used to be the arteries of American commerce, bridging the transportation eras of wagon trails to train tracks.
Today, a time capsule floats passengers back to this bygone era along the banks in Coshocton, Ohio, and its Historic Roscoe Village. At this canal port, two draft horses, Diesel and Tim, and a Hoggee who guides them walk a towpath tugging the rope of a passenger packet named The Monticello III. …For the rest of the story, photos, and video, click here.