The Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail is working on an upcoming cleanup event at the Ohio and Erie Canal Lock 50 to get the community out and about, giving some much needed love and appreciation to a historical landmark that organization President Bill Tipton says played an important role in the history of Scioto County.
“The Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail has a mission statement of preserving and promoting the rich history and natural beauty of Scioto County,” Tipton said. “We are making efforts, through this cleanup event, to preserve this part of history of the Ohio Erie Canal; it falls right in our gameplan.”
Tipton says that the cleanup will focus on brush and grass in Lock 50, as they await to receive a grant to further preserve that space.
“We have a grant coming, but it won’t be started until 2025,” Tipton said. “So, what we want to do in the meantime is get the lock cleaned up, make the community aware of its importance, and just preserve what is there until the grant is kicked in.”
The grant funding is in the amount of $200,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation and will go towards the preservation of Lock 50, as well as few others.
Tipton marvels at the history of the lock.
“The Ohio Erie Canal was the longest and one of the first built in the State of Ohio. It was 308 miles long and crossed from Cleveland to Portsmouth, Ohio,” Tipton said. “This Canal Lock 50 is one of the last remaining locks of the Ohio Erie Canal. And Lock 50 was the place where so much of the loading and unloading took place and actually built quite a community there. It is what was responsible for the creation of the Westside area.”
Tipton said that anyone willing and able can volunteer to help clean the lock.
“Anybody who has a pair of gloves and work shoes and wants to come help and carry some of these limbs and brush out of there is welcome,” Tipton said. “We actually have a chipper coming and someone willing to chip the debris we pull out. It is just going to be a good day to learn some of the history while working to preserve it.”
Tipton says he will be bringing photos and information on the history of the lock and will go over the importance of the location.
The cleanup is scheduled for April 29, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. They will meet at Union Mills Confectionery, 1120 Galena Pike, West Portsmouth. Anyone with tools are welcome to bring them.
For more information on the Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail, visit their website at www.sciotoheritagetrail.com or call President Bill Tipton at 740.357.2070.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved