I thought I'd pass on this interesting link of history regarding the Ohio River Canals. I've copied the opening paragraph from the web page to give you a taste of the author's page. Ohio's Historic Canals
Ohio's 1000-mile network of navigable canals, constructed between 1825 and 1847, provided a system of economical transportation where none had previously existed. The young state with its isolated frontier economy was transformed almost overnight. The canals opened many markets for its agriculture and industrial products, and attracted thousands of immigrants to the state. Today only a few of the deep excavations, the high earthen embankments and the massive structures of timber and cut stone are left to remind us of our debt to those who built Ohio's first transportation system.