A view of Lock 1 North and the Lock Keeper’s house in New Bremen, Ohio, by Rex Dolby. (Photo submitted)
A view of Lock 1 North and the Lock Keeper’s house in New Bremen, Ohio, by Rex Dolby. (Photo submitted)
Three Van Wert Area Photography Club members and one from the Lima Photography Club met at the Lock 13 shelter house in Saint Marys on Saturday, Oct. 28. Cheryl Knost provided everyone with a tasty lunch. After lunch, Joe Schramm acted as tour guide, Rex Dolby drove the lead car, and Dr. Randy Bansal from Lima followed in his car.

Taking Route 66 almost eight miles south, the group’s first stop was right along the highway in New Bremen, site of Lock 1 North. Historical markers indicate that the canal construction through New Bremen was completed in 1845 and at the height of the canal use in 1850, an estimated 400 boats traveled regularly between Toledo and Cincinnati.

New Bremen is approximately halfway between the canal terminals, and the town prospered by supplying goods and services to the canal traffic and from shipping products to markets north and south.

Lock 1 North was first constructed of white oak in 1845 and was rebuilt of concrete in 1910. The present lock was completed in 2007 to look like it did in 1910. It helped lift boats 513 feet above the Ohio River and began lowering them 395 feet to Lake Erie.

The park also displays the oldest cast iron “bowstring girder” bridge in Ohio. Constructed in 1884, it was brought to New Bremen in 1984 and reconstructed.

For those who might be interested, the Bicycle Museum of America is located right next to the park as well as a playground.

Although the wind chill was brutal and the sky overcast, there were so many interesting things to photograph that it made the trip well worthwhile. We continued on south about 24 miles, passing the Johnston Farm Historical Park (now closed for the season), to the town of Lockington and its five step locks that lowered boats 67 feet below Lock 1 North. But that’s next week’s story.