Louisville and Portland Canal

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Historical Background

The Louisville and Portland Canal was and still is a two mile canal bypassing the Falls of the Ohio near Louisville Kentucky. It opened in 1830. The Louisville and Portland Canal was built to bypass The Falls of the Ohio located at Louisville, Kentucky. These falls are the only natural obstruction on the Ohio River.
Since the falls could only be navigated by boat at high water, business sprang up unloading boats coming down from upstream at the top of the falls, portaging goods and/or settlers the two miles pass the falls to be loaded on other boats at the base of the falls to continue downstream towards Saint Louis and New Orleans.
It was the advent of the steamboat that spurred the need for a canal to bypass these falls so that that goods and people could journey Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, all the way to New Orleans without having to change boats or modes of transportation.


Settlers and Records



Links to other canals and river histories: