Grand Lake St. Marys is a portion of the summit of the Miami and Erie Canal* The east end of the lake flows to Lake Erie. The west end has a horseshoe dam that starts the flow downward to drain to the Mississippi.
Grand Lake St. Marys was constructed between 1837-1841. Then Grand Lake St. Marys was the largest man-made reservoir in the world covering 17,603 acres at a cost of $528,222.07.** (Water surface is 13,500. acres)
After the reservoir was finished, it overflowed into farmland with residents upset about crop damage and potential disease from the stagnant water. After failing to be compensated, about 70 people dug a hole in the reservoir's embankment. The water ran for weeks. Some were arrested; however, they were not charged. Speculation was that the plot included the county judge and sheriff.***
Today, Grand Lake St. Marys is still the largest lake within the State of Ohio.
* Source: "Pathways of Progress",David W. Bowman, copyright 1943
** Source: "History of the Ohio Canals", J.E. Hagerty, copyright 1905
*** Source: http://www.limaohio.com/special/ggg.php#lake
Viewable Map Printable Maps: Towpath Trail - Delphos - St. Marys