Valparaiso Western Ranger, Wednesday, 7 July, 1847
WORTHY OF NOTICE.--We are informed that the Illinois and Michigan canal company are intending to render navigable and navigate the Kankakee river, up as far as Lemon's bridge. If so, how vastly important to the farming and mercantile interests in almost every direction, that a channel of navigation should be opened from the head of navigation on the Kankakee, to Fort Wayne. This would effect a connection of Lake Erie and Michigan, by a route nearly direct across the Peninsula, and through and between extensive farming sections, thus saving six or seven hundred miles of dangerous lake navigation, and afford a thoroughfare for travel and for exports and imports of the West, which, not only would be much safer, cheaper and expeditious, but could be used some six weeks later in Fall and earlier in Spring than the lake navigation. Such a work would doubtless greatly benefit the whole west, as it would bring the principal places in so direct communication, and by shorter routs. A boat, adapted in its construction to both rivers and canals, could start from South Bend, Ind., (e. g.) and pass either up or down the St. Joseph; by canal to Fort Wayne, and Toledo, Logansport and places in that direction; or down the Kankakee, to Ottawa, Joliet, Chicago, and all places down the Illinois, and up and down the Mississippi and its branches. In short, a canal of some sixty miles, on a route already surveyed and reported to be most decidedly favorable, the cost of which could probably not exceed $160,000, would produce an effect which would be sensibly and beneficially felt throughout the numerous towns and extensive farming country of the great West.
These things were lately suggested to us by an intelligent, wealthy and business man, with the request that we would thus embody and publish the suggestions, that they may perchance meet the eyes of some who may be able to discern and appreciate the advantages of such a work, and at the same time to make its importance and feasibility sufficiently understood by the public and by men of capital to ensure its early accomplishment.
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Created 10th October, 2004.