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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Shop > Books Listed by Topic > The Indiana Historian > Canal Mania in Indiana > You be the Historian You be the Historian

Examine the map, "Indiana Canals 1805-1915." Are any of the canals near your location? What is the closest canal--or proposed canal--to you? See what you can find in local history sources about the canal in your area.

Investigate the Central Canal. How has that canal been used in the recent past?

The eight projects of the 1836 Internal Improvements Act (listed on page 4) reached all areas of Indiana. What was planned for your area? Was the project ever completed? What results of this act can be located on an Indiana map today?

There are many historical markers in Indiana about the canals and transportation. Locate any near you. If there are none, investigate acquiring a marker through the Indiana Historical Bureau.

Railroads took the place of canals as the best means of transportation. Are railroads still the primary means of transportation? What has taken their place and why? What water transportation is an important economic factor in Indiana today?

Throughout this issue, there are illustrations from a newspaper, the Brookville Indiana American from the 1840s. Does your area have a newspaper that goes back to the nineteenth century? What was going on in your area at that time? What subjects were frequently covered? What sorts of advertisements appeared?