Side A: The Ohio and Erie Canal was Ohio’s solution to the lack of a reliable and fast transportation system to move goods to outside markets. The canal opened in the then unplatted village of Groveport on September 25, 1831 and contributed directly to Groveport’s success as a center of commerce. W.H. Richardson built lock 22, the only lock in Groveport, as part of his bid to build section 52 of the canal. Lock 22, the last lock before a series of locks in Lockbourne, Ohio that lower the canal to the level of Big Walnut Creek, is 90 feet long with a 15 foot wide lock channel. A variety of businesses clustered along the banks of the canal. In the mid-nineteenth century, a canal boatyard and dry dock was operated in what is now Blacklick Park. Canal boats were built and repaired in this facility that was considered the first notable such operation on the canal below Baltimore, Ohio.
Side B: While Groveport flourished during the canal era, the town was removed from relative isolation with the introduction of the electric railroad operated by the Scioto Valley Traction Line. The tracks, which are still embedded and visible in Blacklick Street, were part of a system that connected Groveport to Columbus and surrounding communities. The line was completed in 1904, and the first trip was made from Columbus to Canal Winchester. From Groveport, the trip to Canal Winchester took only five minutes, as the car reached an amazing speed of 62 mph. The interurban allowed residents to work, shop, or seek entertainment outside of Groveport. The interurban also brought new opportunities for diversified commercial interests and a steady population growth to Groveport. Passenger service on the interurban ceased in 1930 when automobiles and buses made the system obsolete.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society, and The Ohio Historical Society