Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

Michael McBride, another Canal Builder

               Canal south of Waterville 

Michael McBride, was born in 1806 in Pennsylvania and spent his early years in his native state and in Buffalo, N.Y. working as a stonecutter. In 1838 he engaged with Camp and Cammeron in the construction of a few sections of the Maumee canal.  It is possible that McBride cut some of the stone blocks still visible in the locks at Side Cut Park.

McBride, Camp and Co. were contractors on and completed sections No. 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39 Wabash and Erie Canal at a cost of $154,268 in which D. Camp was the principal partner. They had problems with some of the canal and were awarded a contract to stone the banks of their part of the canal to make up any losses. Michael McBride was listed on the 1840 Census for Waterville Twp., Lucas County, Ohio with 9 males 20-30 yrs. of age and 8 males 30-40 yrs. of age, along with 1 female age 10-15 and 1 female 20-30 years of age. He married Joanna Kaily, a young Irish immigrant at Waterville in 1839.

The McBride Camp and Co. is also listed on the 1840 Waterville Twp., Lucas County, Ohio census with 5 male under 5 years of age; 7 males 5-10 yrs.; 3 males 20-30 yrs. of age and 5 males from 30-40 yrs. The females in this household are 2 under 5 yrs. and 6 females from 20-30 years of age and 2 females 30-40 years of age. We are also noticing there are a number of names on this list that may be Irish. This would have been during time of building the canal.

The construction of the Western Reserve and Maumee Road (Fremont Pike) was contracted at nearly the same time as the canal and under the charge of the same state engineer, a Mr. Dickinson. It seems natural then that Michael McBride also contracted a portion of that project. We are not sure if David Camp continued with him on the road construction. McBride in 1841 bought a farm of 96 acres on section 35 of Woodville Township south of the pike. So it was that Michael McBride left Waterville and became prominent resident of what would become the town of Woodville. He is credited with building and maintaining a well-known inn along the busy road he helped construct. The inn was demolished in 1969 when Route 20 was widened.

P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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