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The Shaker Swamp


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Transcription contributed by Arne H Trelvik 26 May 2003

Sources:
The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Turtle Creek Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)
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Union Village & the Shakers of Warren County, Ohio

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441

Before the construction of the Warren County Canal, the waters of Shaker Creek, flowing westward, united from the waters of Miller’s Run, which came in from the south. The two streams meeting on level ground, on the watershed between the two Miami Rivers, spread over a large tract of several hundred acres, which was known as Shaker Swamp. Through this swamp, which was covered with woods and decaying logs and branches of fallen trees, the water had no distinct channel, but tended toward the northwest and entered a branch of Dick’s Creek, through which they flowed to the Great Miami. About 1825, the Shaker Society cut an artificial channel for Shaker Creek for the purpose of shortening the creek through the lands of the society, and about 1835, the Warren County Canal was constructed along the eastern borders of the swamp. At one time, it was proposed to convert the swamp into a reservoir for the purpose of feeding the canal, but this was never done. The waters of Shaker Creek were intercepted by the canal, into which it flowed from the east. On the west embankment of the canal, at the point of confluence, a waste-weir was constructed for the passage of the surplus water. The waste-weir was found not to answer the purpose intended, in times of freshet, for the want of sufficient fall, and eighteen months afterward, it was removed to a point a mile and a quarter farther north, whence the surplus water flowed into Dick’s Creek. Thenceforward, so long as the canal was kept in operation, the waters of Shaker Creek flowed into and were mingled with the waters of the canal. About 1848, a breach was made in the west bank of the canal, not far from the waste-weir, which was never repaired, and about the same time the canal was abandoned by the State as one of its public works. After the abandonment of the canal, the waters of Shaker Creek flowed along the line of the canal and were discharged through the breach, and overflowed, in times of freshets, one or two hundred acres of land, which had not been overflown before the construction of the canal. Litigation thus arose, which was settled in the Supreme Court of the State. The Supreme Court held that the owners of land along the line of the canal had not the right to keep up its embankment for the purpose of diverting the waters of Shaker Creek from their natural course, after the canal had been abandoned by the State. In later years, the bed of the canal

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has been utilized as a township ditch, established by the Township Trustees under the authority of law, for the purpose of discharging the waters of the swamp and Shaker Creek into Dick’s Creek. Nearly all the land formerly included in the swamp has been reclaimed.

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This page created 26 May 2003 and last updated 22-Dec-2004
© 2003  Arne H Trelvik  All rights reserved