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Canal Society of Ohio (Elizabeth Neidecker Papers) - MS 549
The Canal Society of Ohio (Betty Neidecker Papers), spanning from 1965 to 1993, consists of materials collected by Elizabeth A. “Betty” Neidecker from the Canal Society of Ohio, of which she was an active member. The donation and transfer of these records to the Center for Archival Collections was arranged through the cooperation of Betty Neidecker of Bowling Green, Ohio, in December 1988, with an addition in 2010 from her estate. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The register was completed by Stephen W. Badenhop, Archival Assistant, in September 2008, with revisions in April 2010.
The Canal Society of Ohio (CSO), founded in 1961, is the largest canal organization in Ohio. The society’s origins began in northeast Ohio, but soon spread throughout the state resulting in various local and regional canal groups. The group is “dedicated to the study and preservation” of Ohio’s many canals. “Towpaths,” a quarterly periodical, is published by the society which explores various topics in canal history. In the spring and fall of each year the Canal Society sponsors a weekend tour of selected canal segments throughout Ohio, but have in the past also done canal tours in Indiana and Pennsylvania. The established archives of the CSO are housed at the University of Akron library.
Elizabeth A. “Betty” Neidecker was born in Port Clinton, Ottawa County, Ohio, in 1920. She was the daughter of Frederick Starr Neidecker (1892-1945) and Alpha Hennesy (1895-1965). She grew up in the Port Clinton area and became passionate about everything related to the water, where her research interests would remain throughout her life. In 1954 she joined the staff of Case Western Reserve teaching speech pathology and audiology. Six years later she became a professor of speech communication at Bowling Green State University where she taught for twenty years; retiring in June 1982. In the fall of 1983 Betty rejoined the faculty at Bowling Green as an associate professor in the library working as a part-time field representative for the Center for Archival Collections until once again retiring in December 1986. Her fascination with the water led her to join the Canal Society of Ohio in the 1960s and also publish a book The Marblehead Lighthouse: Lake Erie’s Eternal Flame in 1995.
The Canal Society of Ohio (Betty Neidecker Papers) consists of 1.3 linear feet of materials containing mostly subject files and printed materials relating to canal tours and canal related localities from 1965 to 1993. Subject files ranging from 1973 to 1993 cover the various canal tours conducted by the society and contain itineraries, histories and tourist information about the segments of the canal the group sought to explore in-depth. Scrapbook materials include pictures from the canal tours along with accompanying newsclippings discussing the history and preservation of Ohio’s many canals. Printed materials consist of booklets about the canals along with society newsletters and bulletins. There are also audio materials discussing canal histories along with a cassette containing canal songs.
Records of the archivist/historian, with constitution, bylaws, and amendment changes
Membership records from the Canal Society of Ohio
CORRESPONDENCE - EDITH McNALLY
Personal correspondence from society member Edith McNally to Betty Neidecker discussing society related news and business
Materials related to the society's annual/biannual canal tour of various canals throughout Ohio
Various typescript drafts of “Milan and the Milan Canal”, submitted to the Western Reserve Magazine
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS
Two scrapbooks contain newsclippings and photographs related to canal history, preservation and society canal tours; one item is wrapped.
Newsclippings related to canal history and preservation throughout the state of Ohio
MAPS, CHARTS, DIAGRAMS, GRAPHS, LISTS, ETC.
Photocopies of various canal maps
Booklets, Brochures, Flyers, Newsletters, Pamphlets and Programs related to canal tours, canal history and the Canal Society of Ohio
Photographs of members of the Canal Society of Ohio
Recordings of presentations given about specific canals and a cassette of canal songs
Interview conducted by Todd Greenberg with Betty Neidecker about the history of canals (VHS)
- Constitution/bylaws/amendments (archivist/historian), 1979-1988
- CSO Membership Records, 1965-1966;1985
- Edith McNally Correspondence, 1981-1987
- CSO Spring/Fall Tour (Miami & Erie Canal), 1973; 1975
- CSO Spring Tour (Lockborne-Carroll), 1974
- CSO Spring Tour (Cleveland-Peninsula), 1975
- CSO Fall Tour (St. Marys-Lockington), 1976
- CSO Spring Tour (Everett-Massillon), 1977
- CSO Fall Tour (Dayton-Cincinnati), 1977
- CSO Spring Tour (Roscoe Village), 1978
- CSO Spring Tour (Carroll-Hebron), 1979
- CSO Fall Tour (Sandy & Beaver Canal), 1979
- CSO Spring Tour (Scioto Valley), 1980
- CSO Fall Tour (Great Miami River), 1980
- CSO Spring Tour (Muskingum River), 1981
- CSO Fall Tour (Milan Canal), 1982
- CSO Fall Tour (Hocking Canal), 1983
- CSO Fall Tour (Muskingum River), 1984
- CSO Fall Tour (Hocking-Lancaster), 1985
- CSO Spring Tour (Roscoe-Dresden), 1986
- CSO Fall Tour (Maumee), 1986
- CSO Spring Tour (Chillicothe), 1987
- CSO Fall Tour (Portage Lakes System), 1987
- CSO Spring Tour (Newark), 1988
- CSO Spring Tour (Southwestern Ohio), 1989
- CSO Spring Tour (Akron), 1990
- CSO Fall Tour (New Bremen-Delphos), 1990
- CSO Spring Tour (Sandy & Beaver Canal), 1991
- CSO Fall Tour (Chillicothe-Waverly), 1992
- CSO Spring Tour (Miami Extension Canal), 1993
- CSO Fall Tour (Ohio & Erie Canal), 1993
- Canal Songs, n.d.
- Indiana Canals, 1981
- Monongahela Navigation Tour, 1978
- Ohio Canal Sesquicentennial, 1977
- Pennsylvania Canals, 1968; 1976
- Ward Canal, 1979-1989
- Photo Album of Ohio’s Canal Era, 1825-1913, Publication, 1985
- Research Notes, 1960s-1970s
- William F. Gilmore Article, 1983-1985
- Milan and the Milan Canal drafts, 1982
- Canal Scrapbook, 1950s-1970s
- Canal Newsclippings, 1960s-1970s
- Canal Newsclippings, 1980s-1990s
- Canal Newsclippings, n.d.
- Canal Maps, 1785-1909
- Canal Booklets, 1952-1985
- CSO Annual Meeting Notices, 1960s-1980s
- CSO Bulletin, 1973-1974
- CSO Newsletter, 1965-1971
- CSO “Towpaths” Contents Index, 1972
- Miscellaneous, 1960s-1990s
- Postcards, n.d.
- CSO Members Photograph, n.d.
- Program slides (transferred from metal boxes), 1970-1987, n.d.
- Program slides (transferred from slide carousel), 1962-1988, n.d.
- Canal Presentations, 1980-1988
- Canal Songs, 1969-1971
- Videotaped interview with Betty Neidecker, 1988
- Canal Scrapbook, 1970s-1980s
- Canal Scrapbook, 1970-1980
- Bohning, Ernst. Hooray, We're Going to America. Stanford, CA: Jill Knuth, 1987.
- Campbell, William W. Life and Writings of DeWitt Clinton. New York, NY: Baker & Scribner, 1849.
- Gilmore, W.F. Over Ohio Hills in a Canal Boat: A History of the Old Sandy-Beaver Canal. Canton, OH: Gilmore, [193-?].
- Porter, Burton P. Old Canal Days. Columbus, OH: Heer, 1942.
- Ohio Wall Map. Dayton, OH: Champion Map Corporation, [195-?].
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