Side A: This section of the Miami and Erie Canal, constructed from 1833-1837, was vital to this region’s commerce and development. It allowed for farmers and businesses to get their goods to larger markets at a lower cost and faster speed than by hauling overland. Passengers could also travel across the area by canal boat. John Clark saw the location of the Lock 15, situated in Monroe Township at the junction of the Milton-Carlisle Pike (Main Street), as an opportunity and in 1840, platted the new town of Tippecanoe City (now Tipp City). Many types of commerce and trade grew up around the canal including boarding houses, saloons, a tannery, and a mill. Some of the original buildings still stand, such as a mill to the west of Lock 15, John Clark’s home at the southeast corner of Main and First streets, and the hotel at the northeast corner of Main and Second streets.
Side B: Travel on the Miami and Erie Canal was limited to four miles per hour for boats pulled by mules in order to prevent boat wash from eroding the clay banks of the canals. A system of locks allowed a canal boat to be raised or lowered, depending on the direction the boat was traveling. Constructed of limestone blocks, Lock 15 is typical of most Miami and Erie Canal locks. Large wooden gates were located on each end of the lock. A boat would enter the lock and the gate behind it would close, while the opposite gate would open, allowing the water lever to be raised or lowered before the boat could proceed to its next stop. The advent of the railroad was the beginning of the end for the canal system. Due to extensive damage, most of the Miami and Erie Canal was abandoned following the Great Flood of 1913.
Sponsors: Miami County Milestones Committee, Miami County Foundation, Troy Foundation, and The Ohio Historical Society