Canal Boats

Seventy to eighty feet long, fourteen feet wide, rode low in the water and carried fifty to eighty tons of cargo. Built with pointed prow and curved hull, these boats took advantage of the low drag characteristics of water at slow speeds as it slipped over the surface of the canal pulled by mules. The sides were protected from impact from the locks by horizontal fenders. They carried maximum tonnage with minimum “mule power” (no more than 3 hp). Names of canal boats coming through the canal included: Akron, Alfred Ely, Allen Trimble, Amber, Annie Laurie, Arrow, Banner, Benjamin Harrison, Carrollton, The Charlotta, Chas T. Hayman, Clinton, Col. Bachtell, Col. Charles Dick, Cozy Corner, Dayton, DeCamp Statler, Dick Gorham, Dora, Ella May, E. Moore, Excello, Friendly, Gallant, General Harrison, G.R. Bauman, Jack Bole, Liza Jane, Lady Hamilton, Legal Tender, Long Pinery, Lorena, Maggie Case, Marfield Mills, Miami (shipped wheat and flour), Mohawk, Monticello, Monticello II, Narragansett, Noah’s Ark (shipped coal), Ohio, Pioneer, Reform, River Mills Rob Roy, The Rocket (built in Akron in l864), Rose, St. Helena II, St. Louis, Samuel Forrer, Sandpiper, Shife, State Boat No. 1, State of Ohio, Sylph, Thomas Worthington, Turtle, Two Sisters, Valley Mills, Veteran, Washington, Wave, W.T. McLean. Besides those that carried passengers or freight or were used to perform canal maintenance, canal boats housed floating barber shops, stores, sign-makers, print shops and other floating businesses that served boat crews and canal families. Groups of actors, singers and dancers also traveled in boats.

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