Wabash and Erie Canal

Wabash and Erie Canal

Indiana was incorporated as a state in 1816, Fountain County, in 1825, and Attica was laid out and platted, also in 1825. The building of the Erie Canal in upstate New York proved so successful that the residents of Indiana saw the potential of such a canal here.

After much debate, on Feb. 23, 1832, formal ground breaking took place in Fort Wayne and in July 1832, actual construction took place and worked southwest; it reached Lafayette by 1842. The construction progressed slowly, reaching Covington in 1846 and by 1847, the canal reached Lodi in southern Fountain County. Now Fountain County was connected to Lake Erie by canal, and by 1847 traffic had begun to flow through the county via the canal. The canal had reached Terre Haute in 1849 and was completed to Evansville in 1853.

When completed the canal was 458 miles long and was the longest artificial waterway in this country and second only to the Grand Canal in China. The canal was 26 feet wide at the bottom and 40 feet at the top and contained 4 feet of water. The towpath on one side was 10 feet wide and 4 feet above water level. The locks were 60 feet long and 15 feet wide

At Fountain (Portland Arch) was the widest part of the canal between Terre Haute and Lafayette. It was the only place between the two towns that boats could pass. Warehouses were located at Mayville, Attica, Jamestown, Fountain, Covington, Sarah, Vicksburg and Silver Island. At these Fountain County locations merchandise was unloaded from the canal boats. For the next few years, these towns flourished from the traffic between Lake Erie and the Mouth of the Mississippi via the Ohio River.

The coming of the county’s first railroad, the Wabash and Western Railroad line, built through Attica, in 1858, heralded the end of the canal’s usefulness. By 1860, portions south of Terre Haute were closed and the process of decline continued northward. In the end, the canal was too expensive to maintain, and when less costly railroads were completed nearby, its use declined dramatically. Around 1875, the last canal boat passed through Covington, and In 1876, the entire canal in Indiana was sold at auction.

——————————————————————

An article by Bob Quirk, published in the Journal Review.

Erie Canal reaches Fountain County in 1846

The Wabash and Erie Canal reached northern Fountain county during the drought year of 1846. This drought brought about an event which came to be known as the “Attica and Covington War”.

The drought had caused the water level to be low in the canal and water from the Wabash River was also low. When the water from the Wabash River was finally directed to the canal it was found there was barely enough of it to flood the canal to Attica and none for the Covington section of the canal.

The Daniel Webster, a beautiful line boat, arrived in Attica after much difficulty and could go no further. The publisher of the Attica Journal printed an exaggerated report of the boats’ arrival in Attica.

When the lock at Attica was opened and only the barest trickle of water came through, Covington suspected the worst. They thought Attica was closing off the flow of water to keep Covington from using the canal.

Covington Senator Hannegan, who happened to be home from Washington, offered his influence of his position and his ability to debate, if a local committee would accompany him to Attica and get them to open the flood gate. The visit was made but with no success and they returned to Covington.

By daylight the next morning Senator Hannegan and 300 townsmen and farmers armed with clubs stormed up the river to Attica.

The news of their approach was quickly spread and a well armed wagon load of men dispatched. However, the Attican’s arrived too late and in a matter of minutes they were surrounded, captured, disarmed and held prisoner.

The invaders forced their way through Attica and succeeded in opening the floodgates, letting the precious water into the lower section.

Reinforced by additional villagers and crews of the helpless boats, the Attican’s attempted to reclose the flood gates. However, it was too late and in a matter of minutes the thirty canal boats lay topsy turvey, mired in the mud, dumping their precious cargo overboard.

Thus the Covington-Attica canal war was over with victory going to neither town. The fourteen mile section had absorbed all of the ensuing water, not leaving enough to float a raft, much less a canal boat.

However, this was not the end of the canal. It wasn’t long until the drought ended and there was sufficient water and it was reopened.

At first packet boats did not run on a schedule. They started their trips after a profitable number of passengers was assured to be on board. The distance a boat traveled from Toledo to Attica was 267 miles and it took about 2 and half days and cost $3.75. An advertisement in a Ft. Wayne newspaper read: fast sailing “Niagra has large stateroom with 3 meals a day.

As demand increased, boats were designed for freight and passenger separately. The passenger boats were even designed in two classes. One class was for passengers who wanted to arrive at their destination quickly and the other was designed more luxuriously and traveled 5 to 8 miles per hour. They charged one to two cents a mile or more for a ticket.

The internal arrangement had a small covered cabin for the crew. Next was a wash room and drawing room and then the women’s cabin. Next was a large room usually about 45 feet long which served many purposes.

During the day it was a place of general assembly and it was there that 3 meals a day were served. At night it was converted into a floating dormitory. There were about 42 bunks of small shelves of wood, about six feet long and one and half foot wide. The beds were covered with a thin clump of straw and a flat bag of blue canvas. A blanket and pillow completed the bedding supplies.

When it was time to retire a man would take off his hat, neck tie and collar, coat and vest and climb into bed. If he was unusually finicky, he would also take off his shoes and trousers before climbing into bed, but if he did those extras he was considered finicky.

In the morning before breakfast they lined up to wash in a tin basin filled with water from the canal. A comb and brush hung near the place where food was being prepared.

A show boat called, “The Dixie Boys Minstrel Show” operated along the canal. It had a seating capacity of 100.

P.T. Barnum’s Circus came to Attica in 1879. Tom Thumb, three elephants, a band of clowns gave a great show. The boats ran from March 1st until November 1st.

A tin horn announced the arrival and departure of the canal boat at each post.

The canal played an important part in the development of West Central Indiana, However, with the coming of the railroad, the canal era came to an end in the 1870’s.

http://www.journalreview.com/news/article_a31c3bda-1974-11e1-b039-001cc4c002e0.html

——————————————————————

This wedding was held on a canal boat on May 16, 1872, in Attica, Indiana, on the Erie Canal. http://www.in.gov/history/images/canalwedding.gif

Attica canal wedding

——————————————————————

Further Reading:-

A couple of interesting articles, originally published in the Journal Review newspaper, written by Bob Quick are:-
http://www.journalreview.com/news/article_265516fc-01c9-11e1-adad-001cc4c002e0.html
http://www.journalreview.com/news/article_a31c3bda-1974-11e1-b039-001cc4c002e0.html

Some of the history of Attica is detailed on the city’s website http://attica-in.gov/visiting-attica/history-of-attica/

The Attica page on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attica,_Indiana

Advertisements

From Lewis and Clark to a cemetery in Indiana

Colins Place

Old Pioneer Cemetery in Waynetown is the final resting place of William Bratton, a member of the historic expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase territory in 1804-06.

William Bratton’s headstone - Old Pioneers Cemetery, Waynetown, Indiana This bronze plaque and marker were later added to William Bratton’s headstone, explaining that he was a member of the historic Lewis & Clark expedition in 1804-06.(Photo: Kevin Cullen/For the Lafayette Journal & Courier)

WAYNETOWN — Old cemeteries are filled with surprises.

One stone in this particular resting place remembers a baby who died in 1830. Beneath another lies a Civil War sailor. Many cast shadows over the graves of pioneers who worked themselves to death turning forests into corn fields.

But the Old Pioneer Cemetery on U.S. 136, at the eastern edge of town, contains a much bigger surprise. Among its weathered stones is one that marks the grave of William Bratton.

Bratton, who lived from 1778 to 1841, settled near here…

View original post 584 more words

Where history meets military service

Spec. Joey Bloomer, left, and Sgt. Matthew Gregory of the Army National Guard, Military Funeral Honors, fold a 48 star U.S. flag during a military service for Patrick Flynn Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at St. Mary’s Cemetery. In the background are Pfc. James Davis and Father Ambrose Ziegler. Flynn served in the Civil War with the 2nd New York Cavalry. (Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier)

Lafayette, Indiana November 11, 2015.

Under a bright sun and in between gentle gusts of wind, about 20 people gathered Wednesday afternoon to honor someone none of them had ever met.

The focal point was a brand new gray military-style gravestone that sat on a hill next to the woods on an edge of St. Mary’s Cemetery. “Patrick Flynn,” it read in part, “Co I 2 NY CAV.” Along with the birth and death dates, the words pointed to Flynn’s service fighting for the Union in the Civil War.

The marker belongs to the great-grandfather of Cathy Ferguson, a lifetime Lafayette resident. Her family — including a few veterans — and friends attended the military service. Ferguson worked with her nephew, Fred Bolander, to obtain a stone through Tippecanoe County’s veteran’s services, a headstone that would replace the heavily faded one that had stood for more than a century.

But there’s more to the story than that.

Flynn’s previous stone, Ferguson said, was turned backward, faced the woods and was in an area removed from the rest of his family. No one is completely sure why. While her uncle paid to have it turned around about 20 years ago, she said the family believed Flynn might not have properly been honored for his service because of its initial position.

So she contacted Sgt. Matthew Gregory, the team leader of the Lafayette division of Military Funeral Honors, and decided to have a service honoring her great-grandfather.

“Family history is important to me, and … we’re just a close family,” Ferguson said. “So it was just something we wanted to do, and my niece suggested, ‘Why don’t we get a service?’ So it kind of snowballed into that.”

“I feel every soldier deserves his honors. We don’t ever leave anyone behind,” Gregory said. “That soldier served this country and sacrificed a lot.”

Four members of the armed services carried out the military honors — First Sgt. Paul Sabol of the Indiana Guard Reserve played taps, and servicemen presented a late 19th-century replica flag to Ferguson. Father Ambrose Ziegler, who travels around the area performing services, blessed the gravestone and delivered prayers. His remarks centered on the importance of remembering a war fought on U.S. soil and keeping the country strong from within through prayer, positivity and love.

“Sometimes we forget the price that many, many people — men, women and youth — have to pay so that there can be peace,” Ziegler said.

Flynn was born in Toronto in 1842 to parents from Ireland, according to a family history pamphlet compiled by Ferguson’s uncle. In August of 1861, Flynn enlisted for the Union as a private in the Capt. Naylor’s Company, the Harris Light Cavalry — which later became the 2nd New York Cavalry Regiment — in Lafayette.

According to the family records, he served until June 1863 and received a bounty before rejoining the same company in December of the same year. An undated article from the Morning Journal mentions Flynn and several others receiving medals for bravery for serving in the battle of Gettysburg. He stayed in the army until June 1865 and spent a long stint of time in the hospital, though records don’t indicate whether his illness stemmed from war injuries.

After the war ended in the spring of 1865, Flynn served in different posts in the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization for Union veterans, the records stated. He settled in Lafayette, built a home on Romig Street, and worked for J.B. Felley Hardware store and in the draying business.

The story of Flynn’s death garnered a front-page spot in the Lafayette Daily Courier, according to the records. He, his wife Bridget and son Owen died of asphyxiation while heating their home in January 1899. According to the article, the gas in the stove was turned on and the damper was turned down to keep heat from traveling up the chimney. But the damper’s opening was clogged with soot, which trapped the gas inside. The three were found several days later by Ferguson’s grandfather and police.

In the process of obtaining a new gravestone for Flynn and researching his story, Ferguson said she has learned more about the Civil War than when she was in school. And she looks forward to finding out more.

To read more about this story, visit the Lafayette Journal & Courier website

Iconic Lyons Music sign removed

Phantom Neon Signs and Graphics employees prepare to remove the iconic Lyons Music sign from its North Green Street location.

Phantom Neon Signs and Graphics employees prepare to remove the iconic Lyons Music sign from its North Green Street location.

Crawfordsville, Indiana, Wednesday, October 7, 2015

An iconic sign was lowered from its long-time, downtown perch. On Tuesday, the Lyons Music sign was removed from the front of 210 S. Green St., not to be discarded, but to be made to turn on again.

The plan is to have Phantom Neon Signs and Graphics restore the piece. Once in working order, the sign will be placed on display at the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County.

Bernard and Robin Thompson, who bought the building that formerly housed the music store, and most recently a sewing machine shop, understood the sign represented many memories centered around music for many local residents. Many people remember buying instruments, instrument accessories and sheet music at the store.

“When we bought the building I told my husband that this sign means a lot to the people in the Crawfordsville area,” Robin said. “It hit me that we should give it to the Carnegie Museum. Looking down at the sign from the upstairs apartment we could tell it was in good shape considering how old it is.”

Crawfordsville Main Street board member Becky Hurt watched as the sign was lowered to the ground. She is happy the sign is being saved.

“I think this is marvelous that Phantom Neon can save this sign,” Hurt said. “And then, to be able to see it light up again at the museum is wonderful. I am so thankful the Thompsons are saving it and donating it for all to enjoy again. I remember having the Strand Theater sign all lit up and the Lyons Music sign lit up right on the same street. Lyons Music Store had the best selection of sheet music that you would find anywhere.”

Robin, who also is a Crawfordsville Main Street board member, has memories of taking music lessons inside the store.

“When I was a student at Tuttle Middle School we would meet our music director, Connie Meek, at Lyons Music Store,” Robin said. “We would work on our musical pieces in preparation for the contests at DePauw University.”

Taking down the sign down drew a lot of attention. Many people stopped to take photos on their phones. One motorist in particular stopped the vehicle and jumped out to find out what was going on. The man was Crawfordsville resident Rick Lyon. He asked what was going to happen to the sign, and was relieved to learn it would have a new home at the museum.

“My dad’s cousin owned the store, and if the sign was going to be junked, I was going to take it to save it,” he said. “I am thrilled with the plan that will see the sign end up in the museum. That is just great.”

The building will soon house a bakery, Maxine’s on Green. It will specialize in sweet baked goods.

Re-posted From http://www.journalreview.com/news/article_bce4ca12-6c7e-11e5-9e02-3b35517043d3.html

Lest We Forget

Today, September 11th, 2015, is the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attack, known as 9-11.

There is a memorial, in Rensselaer, Indiana, to the men and women that lost their lives in the terrorist attacks that happened on September 11th, 2001. This monument was dedicated on September 6 2012, and includes two pieces of the World Trade Center, as a monument to all who lost their lives there, at the Pentagon and on United Flight 93, that crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The monument is facing the Jasper County Court House, in front of the Rensselaer Volunteer Fire Department building, on the corner of South Cullen and East Harrison Streets, in downtown Rensselaer, Indiana.

Text on the memorial:

IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE WHO
LOST THEIR LIVES AND TO
THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES TO
SAVE SO MANY OTHERS ON
SEPTEMBER 11, 2011

THEIR COURAGE AND LOVE OF
OUR COUNTRY WILL BE A SOURCE
OF STRENGTH AND COMFORT
TO OUR GREAT NATION
GOD BLESS AMERICA

Physical address of memorial:
203 S. Cullen St
Rensselaer, Indiana USA
47978

Further Information:
Rensselaer Republican Newspaper Website for more information: (visit link)

RVFD unveils Sept.11 memorial (visit link)

City of Rensselaer Fire Department (visit link)

RVFD Online (visit link)

This memorial on Waymarking.com

Indian Creek Hill Cemetery Veterans Memorial – rural Montgomery County, IN

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Situated at the front of the Indian Creek Hill Cemetery, right next to Indiana State Road 47, this memorial commemorates all veterans. It comprises a large stone, the text of which is given below, a flag pole and flag, and a pair of stone benches.

Memorial text:-

Indian Creek Hill
Cemetery
Veterans Memorial

Dedicated to the gallant men
and women who served their
country during war and peace.

They stood, were counted and
served their country with honor.

We honor the loved ones
who waited for their return

We shall not forget.

Indian Creek Hill Cemetery is located beside Indiana State Road 47, south west of the town of New Market, between Crawfordsville and Waveland, IN.

The cemetery is situated on a small hill. The oldest graves can be found in the center of this well kept cemetery, near the top of the hill.

According to Find A Grave http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=85513 there are currently approximately 1475 interments.

This cemetery is located in Brown Township, and is one of the eight cemeteries in this township.

Brown Township is one of eleven townships in Montgomery County, Indiana. As of the 2010 Census, there were 1719 residents of Brown Township.

Wikipedia Brown Twp. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Township,_Montgomery_County,_Indiana

Wikipedia Montgomery County page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montgomery_County,_Indiana

This cemetery on Waymarking.com http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMKY78

This Veteran’s Memorial on Waymarking.com http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMM0HK

Farmer’s Institute Cemetery makes a $10,000 restoration investment

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Farmer’s Institute Cemetery Association paid a cemetery restoration company called Stone Huggers to clean, restore, and repair about 50 grave stones.

Source: Farmer’s Institute Cemetery makes a $10,000 restoration investment