The Miami & Erie Canal was completed in 1845 at a cost of $8 million. The 301 mile canal connected Lake Erie in Toledo, OH with the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Grand Lake St. Marys was constructed adjacent to St. Marys, OH to provide a constant source of water for the canal.
Canals were a cutting edge technology in the mid 1800s but were quickly surpassed by nascent railroad networks. By the early 1900s the Miami and Erie Canal was history. Today there are efforts to resurrect several sections of the canal for historical and tourist purposes.
Both New Bremen and St. Marys have efforts underway to redevelop their old canal locks into wonderful historical sites. That is me on the left opening one of the reconstructed locks in New Bremen just like they did in the mid 1800s.