Canal Society unveils historical markers

Chris Dunham, PDT Sports Writer

October 27, 2012

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Members and friends of the Scioto County Canal Society gathered at Union Mills Confectionery in West Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon to dedicated a new historical marker. The marker provides onlookers with a brief history of the Ohio and Erie Canal in West Portsmouth.

“It is impossible for anyone or any group to know everything there is about the canal. The horses and the animals involved are one story, the story goes on and on with the boat owners, engineers, construction workers and the many other involved in the construction and operation of the canal,” said Judy Ross, Founder of the Scioto County Canal Society said.

A similar service will be held today at 2 p.m. at Bethany Baptist Church, 8091 State Route 104 in McDermott.

According to released information, the church is located across from the Ohio and Erie Canal Ditch. Ross said during the ceremony the church will be recognized for the roll it played.

“Established in 1838, canal workers built on the farm of canal contractor George Herodth. Mr. Herodth built a Baptist church as a promise to his wife and they named it Bethany. The church was moved across the highway in early 1900 and Rev. Al Owens has services there today,” Ross said.

She said the ceremony coincides with the churches homecoming services.

When asked why the Scioto County Canal Society thought it was important to have these markers erected, Ross said. “This is important because we are saving the canal history of not only Scioto County, but for the state of Ohio. It’s history that children need to know about.”

For more information about the Scioto County Canal Society, call 740-353-8435.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.