Completed in 1845, the 274 mile canal linked Lake Erie with the Ohio River and canal boats brought pioneers, food and goods to the Miami Valley. The canal ran north-south through Moraine and was located where present day Dryden Road and Arbor Blvd. are. Boats up to 80 feet in length were towed along the canal tow path by mules, horses or oxen at four or five miles an hour.
Canal Lock #22, which lowered or raised the water level, was located at the corner of Dryden Road and East River Road.
What people don’t know is that a toll house for the canal was located at the corner of Dryden & Kreitzer Roads and still stands today. The structure was a small log cabin but it is located within the house that was built around it. The house has been used by a Moraine business.
The individual running the toll house would collect a fee from people or businesses using the canal boat.
The canal was just west of the toll house. The dried-out canal bed (Photo#2) served as a small sandlot baseball field in the 1960’s and 1970’s for the local kids that lived next door in the mobile home court.