Ohio History Journal

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The beginning of the improvement of the Muskingum dates

back to 1827 when on January 17th the following resolution was

passed by the General Assembly:

"Resolved: That the Board of Canal Commissioners deem

it expedient, and authorize an examination and survey of the

Muskingum River from Marietta to a point most convenient for

a connection with the Ohio Canal, to ascertain the practicability

of improving the navigation of said river, provided the counties

of Washington, Morgan and Muskingum provide the necessary

assistance for making such survey."

The Ohio Canal referred to in this Resolution was formally

opened on July 4, 1827, New York's Governor Clinton of "Ca-

nal Fame," having dug the first shovelful of earth, and Gover-

nor Morrow, of Ohio, the second. This commencement took

place exactly two years prior to the opening, and was attended

with due ceremony.

The examination and survey of the Muskingum must have

been delayed for a considerable length of time, for as late as

February 22, 1830, Robert McConnell, of McConnelsville, ob-

tained a charter from the State Legislature permitting the build-

ing of a dam across the Muskingum at McConnelsville, which

would afford water power to drive the machinery of a flouring

mill. This Charter required McConnell to build a lock also.

This plan was carried out by McConnell, and his plant operated

until the general improvement of the river by the State of

Ohio. When this Charter was surrendered an agreement was

made between McConnell and the State officials whereby Mc-

Connell deeded to the State of Ohio 7.29 acres of land through

which the State purposed digging a canal. In lieu of this and

the prior right of McConnell, the State agreed to furnish free