John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal

John Pray - Founder of Waterville,Ohio / The Miami and Erie Canal (HMKL2)

Location: Waterville, OH 43566 Lucas County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 29.981', W 83° 43.264'

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[East Side of Marker] : "John Pray - Founder of Waterville, Ohio"

Born in Rhode Island, John Pray (1783-1872) moved to the Maumee River Valley from New York shortly after serving in the War of 1812 and completing a prospecting tour in Ohio. He built a dam across the river to Granger Island and in 1821 constructed a water-powered gristmill, the first on the lower Maumee. In 1831, he laid out the Village of Waterville with the first 50 lots. The Columbian House, a stagecoach inn constructed by Pray in 1828 and expanded in 1837, was for years the commercial and social center of Waterville and accommodated travelers from cities such as Detroit and Cincinnati. From this building, he operated the village's post office. When Wood County was organized in 1820, Pray became a commissioner until Lucas County was formed from part of Wood in 1835. For nine years he served as Justice of the Peace in Waterville. He and his wife Lucy raised eleven children to adulthood. Circa 1854 he constructed his home, which today overlooks Pray Park.

[West Side of Marker] : "The Miami and Erie Canal"

The Miami and Erie Canal, connecting Toledo to Cincinnati, joined the Wabash and Erie Canal to Indiana. The Waterville section of the canal was completed in 1843. Boats, pulled by mules or horses walking on the canal banks, hauled farm products, commercial goods, and people. In 1851 there were approximately 400 boats operating on the canal. Hotels, stores, and mills sprung up along its banks. The Joseph Hall store stood on this site. Canal operations ceased in 1909 as railroads and automobiles became faster and cheaper means of travel. During the 1930s and 1940s the canal bed was filled in to become the Anthony Wayne Trail, U. S. Route 24.
HM NumberHMKL2
Series This marker is part of the Ohio: Ohio Historical Society series, and the Wabash & Erie Canal series.
Marker Number#40-48
Year Placed2002
Placed ByThe Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Waterville Historical Society, and The Ohio Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 2:04pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17T E 272880 N 4597804
Decimal Degrees41.49968333, -83.72106667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 29.981', W 83° 43.264'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 29' 58.86" N, 83° 43' 15.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)419, 567
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 12 N 4th St, Waterville OH 43566, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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