Digging of the Ohio-Erie Canal began in 1825, and the first canal boat navigated the Deep Cut at Licking Summit in 1831. The surrounding swamps were drained to create the Licking Reservoir, today known as Buckeye Lake, in order to supply adequate water for the canal going north to Coshocton and south to Circleville. After the canal route was established, the state engineers discovered that there was a ridge of hills located south of the proposed reservoir through which they would have to cut the canal. Since it was impossible to raise the level of the reservoir, the ridge had to be cut down to the level of the reservoir. This “Deep Cut” marks the deepest part of the canal at 32 feet and runs south from Millersport for nearly two miles. Unskilled laborers, primarily Irish immigrants, tirelessly dug the canal using picks, shovels, wheelbarrows, and oxen-cart.