Historic Site #42
Remnants of the Sandy and Beaver Canal are found throughout Beaver Creek State Park and the surrounding area. Most famous among them are the restored Lock No. 36. Lock No. 36 can be found in the Pioneer Village within Beaver Creek State Park. Its swinging lock gates provide a picture of how the locks looked at the time of their construction.
In 1828, the Ohio legislature issued a charter for the construction of the Sandy and Beaver Canal. The Sandy and Beaver Canal would eventually extend 73 miles from the Ohio and Erie Canal in Bolivar, Ohio, to Glasgow, Pennsylvania, on the Ohio River. While it is considered by many to be the most scenic canal line in Ohio, the canal's goal — to open commerce between the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Ohio River — was never accomplished.
The Sandy and Beaver Canal was an ambitious project that would require two tunnels, thirty dams, ninety locks, three reservoirs, and an aqueduct before its completion. Unfortunately, the canal never fully met the expectations of its builders and planners. From the beginning, the middle section of the canal experienced numerous problems and ultimately fell into disrepair. The eastern and western portions of the Sandy and Beaver Canal were kept busy by the local industry and agriculture. Still, travel along the entire length of the canal was never possible.
By the time of the canal's completion, the expansion of the railroad made the canal less valuable than when originally conceived. In 1852, the canal ceased operations when a flood caused a breach in the Cold Run Reservoir Dam outside of Lisbon, Ohio, ruining a large portion of the canal.
While in the area, you may want to visit Guilford Lake State Park to the west. Guilford Lake was constructed as a canal feeder reservoir for the Sandy and Beaver Canal in 1834.