Monday, January 29, 2007

Fort Wayne Observed: Valedictory: Champion of the Gronauer Lock: "Valedictory: Champion of the Gronauer Lock

A Remembrance and Commentary by Mitch Harper:

Gerig_harold_1 Harold Gerig of Woodburn died this past week. His memorial service will be tomorrow at 2 PM at the Westwood Fellowship Church in Woodburn.

Harold was a pastor and a painter. He held an interest in history and, particularly, the history surrounding the Wabash and Erie Canal.

That interest and devotion led him to make an effort to ensure that a key part of Allen County's - and Indiana's - heritage was saved. It was Harold Gerig, who along with his son, scoured the highway construction site near U.S. 24 and the Harper Road when I-469 was being built. That effort led to the saving of the Gronauer Lock, parts of which form a key exhibit at the Indiana State Museum.

It is the only intact wooden lock known to have survived."

Be sure to read the rest of the story. I've been down to the Indiana State Museum--they only display part of the lock, but the explanation of how the locks worked is just fascinating to me. And the story of how the lock was saved is as interesting as the canal's history itself.

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