The Remains of the St. Joseph Feeder Canal.

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The north-end of the feeder canal started at a bend in the St. Joseph River across from the current location of River Bend Golf Course. At this location existed the feeder dam which allowed water to be backed up into the feeder channel farther upstream. The Dam was made of large timber "cribs" in which stone was laid. Timbers were also laid length-wise so their tops would trap mud and sediment and act as a natural barrier. The dam lasted until the early part of the last century and was said to have formed the famous lagoon at Robison Park.

The feeder channel started just north of the dam where a guard lock existed to control the water flow, and continued to culvert no.1 over Beckett's Run. The stone abutments are still present on either side of where the culvert no.1 once existed. The Feeder Canal continued to follow the west bank of the St. Joseph River across St. Joseph Center Road to Johnny Appleseed Park where it turned southwest down Spy Run Extension. The canal crossed Spy Run Avenue near the location of Burger King today, and continued southwest across Spy Run Creek. A billboard and telephone poles mark the location where the Feeder intersects Clinton Avenue. It continued in a southwest direction thru the property of the Y.W.C.A. and wells street to where it intersected the main canal.

The St. Joseph feeder dam raised the level of the river and supplying water to the Wabash and Erie Canal. Since Fort Wayne was the highest point along the Canal, the feeder canal was crucial to keeping water levels high enough to navigate the boats through the system.

These stones on either side of the St. Joseph River are all that is left of the feeder dam. Notice the earthwork build up on the opposite side of the river.

This picture was taken at the mouth of the Feeder as it enters the St. Joseph River. The guard lock existed near this location.

Through the trees the feeder channel outline is very apparent. The location is the last leg of the channel past Beckett's Run before it enters the St. Joseph River. Fallen trees have made it very hard to follow the channel toward the river.

Culvert no.1 extended over Beckett's Run at this location. The canal channel was located between the two slabs of cement. The slabs are actually left from a later time when the trolley lines ran past this location on their way to Robison Park.

Culvert no.2 was located about 1/3 mile south of Beckett's Run. This culvert is not mentioned directly in the 1847 Chief Engineer Report.

Above is the remains of culvert no.3 which is located along California Road. The canal channel is to the left of this towpath crossing.

The feeder canal looking south toward St. Joseph Center Road. This is one of the best preserved areas of the feeder canal. This was the location of land bridge no.1

The feeder canal followed a path through the present day parking lot between the Coliseum and Wizards baseball statium to Appleseed Park. (Follow the power lines)

The feeder canal as it passes through Johnny Appleseed Park. The towpath can still be seen as the canal curves to the north. This also was the location of culvert no.4

The feeder canal is not apparent in this picture. The Canal followed the route presently occupied by these powerlines along side Spyrun Extension. It is noted that a great limestone bluff exsisted at this location, and had to be removed for the canal. Much of the limestone was used to line the bottom of the canal.

The Spy Run Creek Aquaduct was located just north of Elizabeth Street and Clinton Avenue. The stone structure of this crossing is completely gone, but the outline is still there.


The telephone poles mark the location of where the feeder canal crossed the current location of Clinton Avenue.

This picture is the approximate location of where the feeder canal joined the Wabash-Erie Canal. The location is where Wheeler and Rumsey Avenues would intersect if they were connected. The tree in this picture marks that location.

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Updated 05/27/02

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