Side A: Canal Winchester and The Ohio and Erie Canal. You are standing on the site of Ohio and Erie Canal. The canal helped to open the interior of Ohio to trade and settlement and played a part in Winchester's prosperity during the mid-1800s. Local farmers exported grain from the village via the canal while local merchants imported such items as coffee, dishes, and tools for sale. Winchester was later named Canal Winchester to distinguish it from other "Winchesters" and to honor the role the canal played in its development. (Continued on side two) Side B: Same. (Continued from side one) Construction of the Ohio and Erie began in 1825 and the first canal boat sailed through Winchester in 1831. The entire 308-mile length of the waterway, from Cleveland to Portsmouth, opened in 1832. The advent of the railroad in Ohio in the 1850s heralded the end the canal era. The last canal boats passed through Winchester in 1901. After many years of decline, the Ohio and Erie Canal was abandoned in 1913.