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Grand Lake St. Marys History
At the time it was constructed between 1837-1841, Grand Lake St. Marys was the largest man made reservoir in the world covering 17,603 acres at a cost of $528,222.07. * Grand Lake St. Marys is the summit, with the water flowing from the west end of the lake running in route to Mississippi, and the east end of the lake to Lake Erie.* For years when the water level became low in the lake, the odor from decaying vegetation made the area stink. *By 1843 residents were angered because of the stench, and some farmers were irritated after not having paid for their land that made up parts of the reservoir. Both were suspected of tearing a ditch through the embankment. The state paid $17,000 to repair the vandalism.*
The next largest reservoir for the canal was Lewistown covering 7,200 acres, and was built 1851-1860, at a cost of $ 600,000.* This second lake was a number of miles from the canal and supplied water down the Miami River to Piqua. Lewistown reservoir is now known as Indian Lake.
*Other reservoirs supplying water include Lake Loramie.
* Source:"History of the Ohio Canals", J.E. Hagerty,
* Source: "Pathways of Progress",David W. Bowman, copyright 1943
* Source: "Grand Lake St. Marys State Park" web site: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/odnr/parks/directory/grndlake.htm