On Friday, October 12, TRECA Digital Academy students visited Providence Metropark in Grand Rapids, OH to experience what life was like in 1876 along the Miami and Erie Canal!
We began our visit at the Isaac Ludwig Mill where students were able to see antique milling equipment in operation. The Ludwig Mill was first used to make furniture and then was turned into a saw and gristmill. Students learned how waterpower was used to grind grain and saw lumber. Students then boarded The Volunteer, a reproduction of a mule-drawn canal boat. We learned that because of the canal, the state and city went from being one of the poorest to one of the richest. The canal boats could carry 75 tons of material including lumber, coal, grain, livestock, packages, and people! In 1913, the canals were shut down due to statewide flooding. The flooding caused so much damage to the canals that repairs were too expensive. Students experienced what it was like to go through the canal locks and saw how the crew handled the ropes and opened and closed the massive gates. We had an amazing day stepping back in time and learning about early canal life in Ohio.