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Sandy & Beaver Canal
The canal era In Ohio began with the construction or the Ohio-Erie Canal in 1825. It connected the Ohio River at Portsmouth with lake Erie at Cleveland. Several feeder canals were later built connecting with this Important waterway to access the larger markets and promote economic development along the waterway The Sandy & Beaver canal was one of these feeder canals. But run like the others that received state funds, was privately financed through the sale of stock.
The Sandy & Beaver Canal Company incorporated in 1628 and construction began in November 1834. Financial problems prevented it completlon until January 1848 by which time the railroads had already begun to have an impact on transportation needs. The Canal was operated with moderate success for approximately four years
The end came in the spring of 1852 when the Cold Run Reservoir Dam broke just outside of New Lisbon causing extensive property damage as well as ruining a large section of the canal. The canal company went broke trying to settle the resulting lawsuits -
Although the canal was not a business success, some notable engineering feats were accomplished during its construction The Big Tunnel was the longest cartel tunnel in America measuring 1.060 yards long. It was blasted out of solid rock. The smaller tunnel 300 yards long was excavated through hard shale and a vein of coal West Fork Canal Reservoir now called Guilford Lake was built to supply water for the canal. In addition, some of the finest masonry in the canal lock construction can be seen in Beaver Creek State Park at Lusk's Lock and the other locks between Gaston's Mill and Sprucevale.