Whether you are a youngster just entering school age or a senior history buff there is something special at Canal Park on May 18 beginning at 10 am through 4 pm. Here is the challenge: You personally have Great Grandparents that were born and active during the period between the 1840s and the 1940s. Thus, that is the focus of the Canal Association’s festival called Century of Transportation. A special feature will be at 10:30 am when the first run of the Canal Boat brings Veterans and the Delphi Mayor to be received at the dock.
The century of transportation spans the time from the opening of the Wabash & Erie Canal to Delphi from Fort Wayne and ends with World War II. This event is coming to Delphi on Saturday, May 18th, from 10-4 pm. Cars entering and parking in Canal Park are ask to donate five dollars and the Canal Boat ride takes a ticket.
The public is invited and can experience interacting with those older cars, trucks, mules, horses, school hacks, and even the canal boat that takes you back to the mid-1800s canal era. Boat rides load on the hour for a 40-minute cruise up to the commercial/industrial Red Bridge Settlement area beginning at 11 am.
This century of transportation brings relevance to an earlier day when people and products were moving throughout Carroll County. In our childhood many of us have talked with our Great Grandparents or have personal stories of them. How many of us can visualize the transportation scene during that earlier period? For one story, imagine a Great Grandparent starting his automobile with a “crank” or harnessing his horse to pull the buggy. Travel was slow.
Can you imagine the thrill of your early relative seeing the first steam powered rail engines or then ultimately in the early 1900s the electric powered Interurban line replacing those smoky steam engines? These electric Interurban trains came through Delphi to take passengers on to Fort Wayne or Lafayette for the day. By the mid-1850s travels on rails could run circles around the slower canal boats.
Come visit the Pioneer Village with its early era buildings, some with gardens and crafters inside. See vintage cars, trucks and tractors. Visit with the horses and stop by the restored Railroad Depot and vintage Post Office. Food vendors are onsite with sandwiches, beverages, ice cream, kettle corn, desserts, snacks and more.
The Canal Association’s festival team is bringing an outdoor display of many unusual but regular things of the past. This presentation will feature many early transportation modes that dotted the early muddy and dusty roads before current day hard surface roads. Come out and enjoy a day looking at and talking with transportation equipment owners, displayers, operators, and your friends and neighbors. Make an assessment of what it might have been like to live in an earlier era and imagine the toil and energy needed to travel in those days.