TROY — The city of Troy commemorated its canal history Thursday, unveiling an Ohio Historical Society marker during a ceremony near Treasure Island Park.
Although the canal locks have been removed, local historian Doug Christian said the community can now see the history that was buried underneath the Hobart/ITW manufacturing building, which is now the construction site of the Kettering Health Network’s Troy Hospital.
“What’s nice about it is, even though it’s not the full lock or the full height, it brings something out that was in the basement of Hobart Brothers which most people didn’t know was even there,” Christian said. “Even though the entire lock wasn’t there, now you have an idea. It’s out in the open now.”
A model of the canal’s Lock 12, built of preserved canal blocks, was installed near Treasure Island Park last year. A historical marker for the model was unveiled Thursday.
When the Hobart/ITW manufacturing building was demolished in 2016, nearly 200 hand-carved limestone canal locks were unearthed.
Christian shared some of the rich history of Lock 12. Part of the Miami Erie Canal, Lock 12 was dedicated on July 4, 1837, by Gen. William Henry Harrison at the old Trinity Episcopal Church, located at Walnut and Franklin streets. The original site of Lock 12 was north of West Main Street and west of Adams Street, now part of the Kettering Troy Hospital site.
Businesses located along Troy’s canal included a flour mill, saw mill, a brewery and canal warehouse. Railroad transportation led to the canal’s decline when the CH&D Railroad was completed in 1853. In the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1913, the canal was filled in and used for building purposes. Hobart Brothers built a three-story brick factory over a portion of Lock 12 in 1925. A plaque commemorating Hobart Brothers’ history is located at the Lock 12 site.
The Troy Historical Society and the city of Troy partnered to build the historic model out of the preserved canal blocks to commemorate the historic Lock 12’s place in city history in January 2017.
Mayor Michael Beamish thanked the Troy Historical Society and other members of the community for making the history project come to fruition.
Ben Anthony of Ohio History Connection helped unveil the historical marker, one of 1,700 across Ohio. Anthony also presented the city with a proclamation from Gov. John Kasich as part of the ceremony.
The project used the recovered lock blocks for the 120-foot long by 15-foot wide mock-up of the former lock which was buried underneath the factory. Three markers are now part of the project including a Hobart Brothers Company historical marker, a Lock 12 historical marker and an official Ohio Historical Society marker. The project also includes a 25-foot concrete pedestrian pad.
Several canal lock blocks line the landscape of Treasure Island Park.