Just a short drive from Lawrenceburg, Indiana, this often overlooked piece of history is located in Cleves, Ohio. It is the Cincinnati-Whitewater Canal Tunnel. During the summer months, it can be difficult to see the opening, but in the winter, the brush and grasses die back enough to allow for a much better view.
Now the tunnel is filled with silt and offers little more than a hint of what it once was and what it once promised for the region. It had been used by canal boats for just thirteen years before being sold to the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad in 1863. Tracks were laid so locomotives could thunder through the often flooded tunnel – until being abandoned in the late 1880s.
Built during the years of 1839 – 1843, the Whitewater Canal Tunnel linked Hagerstown and Connersville, Indiana to Harrison, Ohio and continued on to Lawrenceburg, Indiana, a bustling river town situated next to the mighty Ohio.
One of twelve canal tunnels in the country at the time, today only four such tunnels remain. This nearly forgotten structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
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