Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) partnered with the Canal Society of Ohio to preserve old Hocking Canal Lock No. 8 and a section of the canal in Fairfield County. The Canal Society donated funds to help purchase the canal structure while AOA utilized Clean Ohio grant funds to purchase the canal property.
Owners Ronnie and Rita Williams worked with AOA for several years to help preserve this piece of local heritage, saving it from demolition and sale of the sandstone blocks. AOA is very grateful to neighbors John and Erin Ramsey who donated a small piece of adjacent property that helped facilitate the acquisition.
Lock No. 8 is located in Horns Mill a little north of Sugar Grove. Abandoned when the canal was shut down in the 1890’s, the lock is in excellent condition with only a few missing stones. AOA is sponsoring a work day at the lock in a few weeks to clean up the lock which has collected some debris over the years and has a few trees growing out of the stones which will be removed.
The Alliance seeks to protect remnant canal features and to establish a continuous corridor along the old Hocking Canal route. This effort is part of AOA’s Hocking Canal Heritage Trail Initiative that will contribute to the eco-tourism base of the Hocking Hills region. AOA has already protected over three miles of the canal right-of-way in Hocking and Fairfield Counties.