The land around the canal is owned by Robert Temple Sr. Bob and Lenora Temple built Union Mills Confectionery back in 1997 and it was part of the operation of Mex-Itali Restaurant in West Portsmouth, Ohio.
I remember that Bob and I worked on cleaning up the property around the Canal along with my son Kyle. Then for several years Mr. Belford had a group of men to come and clean up around the canal. After he got sick they were unable to continue with the project.
Bob tried for years to do something about making this an attraction as in other parts of the state such as at Roscoe Village.
CHARITY AND I WENT TO The Scioto County Canal Society meeting at Union Mills. President Judy Ross. October 27 2012, was the dedication of the second historical marker for the canal at this location. The first marker was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Temple Sr.
The Ohio and Erie Canal was constructed in the early 1800s, which connected the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga County to the Ohio River in Scioto County, Ohio. From the 1820s to the 1860s, the canal was used for freight traffic, but then rapidly declined due to the construction of railroads. From the 1860s until 1913, the canal also served as a water source to industries and towns. After what was known as, “The Great Flood of 1913,” much of the Ohio Canal system was destroyed and eventually abandoned. Today, most of the remaining portions are managed and preserved by either the National Park Service or the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The Ohio Canal or Ohio and Erie Canal was a canal constructed in the 1820s and early 1830s. It connected Akron, Summit County, with the Cuyahoga River near its mouth on Lake Erie in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and a few years later, with the Ohio River near Portsmouth, Scioto County, and then connections to other canal systems in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The canal carried freight traffic from 1827 to 1861, when the arrival of railroads killed the market. From 1862 to 1913, the canal served as a water source to industries and towns. In 1913, much of the canal system was abandoned after critical sections were destroyed by flooding.
Union Mills had locks 51 to 55 and the end of the 308 miles run.