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Published on Jun 3, 2009
What you see in this video is all that remains of the terminal point of the old Erie & Ohio canal. This location is about 1 - 1 1/2 miles west of downtown Portsmouth, along the northern bank of the Ohio River. Most easily accesible & visible by boat, but if you don't have a boat or access to one, you can easily walk to this location. Keep in mind it is on private property, so be mindful of that if you do decide to go investigating. It might even be wise to call the Coleman's beforehand to let them know you wish to wander around on their property to see the old canal ruins.
This video shows the stone lock itself, but there is also a couple other unusual features that I cannot explain. One is a concrete wall running the width of the canal, which has a round hole in the center through which water is pouring. It obviously was not present when the canal was originally in operation, or it would have blocked the passage of the canal boats. The other feature is the pair of overhead metal beams, which clearly are not original, and apparently were added at a much later time- perhaps in the 1930's or 1940's (I am not certain when they were added, or for what purpose).
You can still see the actual plaster used to mortar between the stones. The stone structure itself probably looks much as it did 150 years ago, with most of the stones still in their original place.
You can see that several large stones have fallen (or were shoved) out of place, and the area looks somewhat like the ancient ruins of Greece. It appears these large stones were pushed out of the way to make room for the two large metal beams which span the canal, perhaps themselves being a support to some wooden bridge whose beams have long since rotted away.
The area was quite muddy & slippery, and towards the end of the video, you'll see my trying to get up a slippery slope. I decided to stop filming, lest I have the camera running while I slipped.
Almost completely overgrown with weeds and trees now, I am certain it looked quite different in its heyday, back in the early to mid 1800's.