Howard Greninger has an article for the Terre Haute Trib Star about timbers from the Wabash Erie Canal that were discovered submerged in a local lake and are being studied. Vigo County is hoping to use them in an educational park display but have to figure out how to do it without the timbers deteriorating – the water apparently helped preserve them.
The canal was open to Terre Haute by 1847. The culvert, which the timbers supported, was built around 1850. Some timbers for the platform are 20 inches wide.
Don Burden, architectural historian for Gray & Pipe, a member of the White Water Canal Trail Inc., in 2007 estimated that the trees used for the culvert were already 300 or more years old when they were cut for the canal.
Historical engineering documents showed the site was for culvert No. 151 of the Wabash and Erie Canal.
The Wabash and Erie Canal linked the Great Lakes to the Ohio river via artificial waterway. It was part of the Indiana Mammoth Internal Improvement Act that, in conjunction with the Panic of 1837, pretty well ruined Indiana’s finances. According to Wikipedia, however, the Wabash and Erie was the most successful of the canal projects in the state, though never to the extent anticipated.