Side A: Begun in 1833, the Miami Extension Canal linked the Miami Canal to the Wabash & Erie Canal. Engineering difficulties, epidemics, and the Panic of 1837 delayed its completion until June 1845, when the packet boat Banner first navigated the 249 miles between Cincinnati and Toledo. Designated the Miami & Erie Canal in 1849, it served as the primary transportation artery between western Lake Erie and the Ohio River before the railroad era. It remained in use until 1913, long after the canal era had passed. The effective midway point between Cincinnati and Toledo, New Bremen was the northern terminus of the canal while work continued on the Deep Cut near Spencerville and the Loramie and Lewistown (now Indian Lake) reservoirs.
Side B: Sited at the junction of the Auglaize Trail and the surveyed route of the Miami Extension Canal, New Bremen was founded in 1833 by German Protestants of the City of Bremen Society. The canal quickly became the focal point of commerce for the growing town, and its influence in New Bremen remains apparent. You are standing opposite the towpath at Lock 1 North, the northern end of the 23-mile-long Loramie Summit, the highest level of the canal. You are 516 feet above the Ohio River at Cincinnati and 374 feet above Lake Erie at Toledo. Originally built of wood because of the local scarcity of stone, Lock 1 North was rebuilt in concrete circa 1910.
Sponsors: New Bremen-New Knoxville Rotary Club, New Bremen Historic Association, and The Ohio Historical Society