Construction of Wabash and Erie Canal was deadly

Construction of Wabash and Erie Canal was deadly

Bob Quirk Oct 1, 2016
From the Journal Review newspaper and website.
http://www.journalreview.com/news/life/article_ddccf59e-8792-11e6-a46a-6b9ce8acfba0.html

The Wabash and Eric Canal was started in 1832 in Fort Wayne. It reached Fountain County in 1846 and when completed in 1853 was the longest artificial waterway in the country.

Transportation in the days before the canal was quite inadequate. The population of the state was growing and better transportation was badly needed to ship out the surplus farm produce and to bring in the much needed supplies for the pioneer families.

The canal being close to the Wabash river and running through swamps and low lands, malaria became a problem and later cholera made its appearance. The work was done by Irish immigrants who had been forced out of Ireland by the potato famine. These laborers died by the hundreds, and the death rate was so high that the digging of graves was almost as big a job as digging the canal. The situation was to grow so terrible that for every six feet of completed channel it had cost the life of one human being.

The laborers who died from the cholera in Fountain County were buried in a cemetery at Maysville, a thriving village of this period between Attica and Riverside, also on a plot of land in Shawnee Township on the Bodine farm, 2 1/2 miles north of the village of Fountain. Others were buried in the corner of Portland Arch Cemetery.

Even from the beginning it was necessary to distribute large doses of quinine, calomel and “Blue Mass” to the workers, with the whiskey-bearing jigger boss making the rounds three times a day, and six times on Sunday.

The Canal’s troubles did not end with the plagues, for when they were not burying their dead they were fighting each other, since the Irish workers on the project were about equally divided between men from North and South Ireland, Cork and Ulster. This meant a general skull cracking on religious grounds whenever two of them met.

It was a hard life for the laborers and living conditions were very bad. The dirt was moved by pick and shovel and wheelbarrows. It was the hardest kind of work, done under very difficult conditions.

There were many jobs to be done beside digging the canal. A supply of water had to be provided which usually required damming one of the tributary streams entering the Wabash River and raising its level so that water could be led from above the dam to the main canal by means of feeder canals. Aqueducts had to be built across some of the creeks. These were huge wooden troughs the width and depth of the canal and supported on posts or stone piers and with a plank tow path built on the side for horses. In some cases, streams were crossed by damming them at the opposite bank of the canal and raising the level of the creek to that of the canal thereby providing a water supply as well as a crossing.

Thus with the coming of the canal, local farmers had a market for the surplus farm goods and manufactured goods from the east were made available to them.

Soon there were passenger boats for people to travel on. I will tell about them in my next article.
Bob Quirk is a retired educator and historian. He contributes this column to the Journal Review.

http://www.journalreview.com/news/life/article_ddccf59e-8792-11e6-a46a-6b9ce8acfba0.html

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

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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

Site revamp

I have decided to change the focus of this blog. I do not have the time to devote to two blogs, so I have combined this one with Indiana Local History., another blog I have.

To that end, the focus is now on local history, and also local events “Around Our Area”

Colin

The former Soller-Baker funeral home, in Lafayette, Indiana.

The former Soller-Baker funeral home, in Lafayette, Indiana. The former Soller-Baker funeral home, in Lafayette, Indiana. The former Soller-Baker funeral home, in Lafayette, Indiana. This once beautiful, Queen Anne style mansion, has stood on this site, at the corner of Fourth and Alabama Streets, near downtown Lafayette, Indiana,  since 1865.

As of today, Memorial Day, May 26th, 2013, it is awaiting demolition. It had served as a private residence, then in 1929, it was used as the Soller-Baker funeral home. It has stood empty since 1996. It was scheduled for renovation as apartments, or condo’s, but the project was abandoned when it became cost-prohibitive, in 2009. Eventually, the City of Lafayette, eventually bought it, with plans to demolish it and redevelop the site. There have been many additions to the original mansion, whilst it was a funeral home. The brick additions are due to be dismantled first, starting June 4th, the main part of the mansion, about a week later.

Some history of this house, that I found by online research:-

In 1842-1843, John H. Newman and his brother-in-law Abraham Miller established a brewery in the south part of Lafayette near the Wabash & Erie Canal. Miller died shortly afterward and Newman operated the brewery for several years. In December, 1856, Newman purchased a $3,500 piece of property on the east side of Illinois (now Fourth) street south of Alabama Street from James Spears, on which he built his new brewery in 1857.

At about the same time, Newman built a large Italianate brick house with a cupola adjacent to the brewery, on the southeast corner of Fourth and Alabama Streets.

John Newman died on September 1, 1888. In 1895, George A. Bohrer bought out the Newman heirs for the sum of $12,000, acquiring the Spring Brewery and the adjacent Newman House. The house was heavily remodeled for his son, Edward F. Bohrer (who was soon to marry Miss Jennie Powers), with the addition of bay windows, a turret, a large porch, a third floor, and a completely new interior.

Prohibition went into effect in Indiana at midnight on April 2, 1918, closing both Thieme & Wagner and the George A. Bohrer Brewing Co. The George A. Bohrer Bottling Works remained open until about 1929. About that time the Bohrer Products Co., apparently a successor to the brewery, began manufacturing ice cream, selling soda water, and distributing “Cereal Beverages.” The company seems to have lasted until about 1928.

https://www.indystar.com/article/BY/20130328/NEWS02/303280024/Demolitions-hold-promise-of-future-Lafayette-development

http://n2avg.com/?p=703

http://www.jconline.com/article/20130523/NEWS/305230039/Centennial-Neighborhood-eyesores-razed-by-August

http://www.b-levi.com/lafayette/breweries/bohrer.php

 

Work at Home Hospital site to begin before 2012 ends | Journal and Courier | jconline.com

Work at Home Hospital site to begin before 2012 ends | Journal and Courier | jconline.com.

via Work at Home Hospital site to begin before 2012 ends | Journal and Courier | jconline.com.

 

In the new year, demolition of the old Home Hospital, in Lafayette, IN, is due to begin.

 

It looks like this will be a good photo opportunity, to get pictures before it goes forever.

 

I guess I have a mission over the Christmas period …

In Alamo, one man’s towering testament to hard feelings and payback

ALAMO — When you go, what do you hope to leave behind so people remember?

Joseph M. Willis, a patent medicine maker near the turn of the 20th century and a man a newspaper of his day concluded was “peculiar to the extreme,” had an idea about that.

If you’re heading the back way from Lafayette to Shades State Park, Continue reading