Side A: At Middletown, Ohio, on July 21, 1825, ground was first broken for the Miami-Erie Canal, which eventually linked Cincinnati and Toledo. The canal created much change in the region, including increased population and commercial, political, and industrial growth. Products grown and manufactured in this previously isolated area now had access to world markets. Prosperity reigned until the 1860s when railroad competition caused a slow decline in canal transportation. The canal was officially closed on November 2, 1929, again, as it had started, in Middletown. The canal bed was converted into a modern highway, known as Verity Parkway, which runs parallel to this park.