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Johnnycake Lock
and Everett Village

Riverview Road
Everett, Ohio

History

In spring of 1828 just after opening the Ohio & Erie Canal at this site, heavy rains filled the canal with mud. A boat was trapped inside Lock 27; the stranded passengers survived for days on the only thing available--Johnny cakes (a cornmeal pancake). This event named both the lock and developing town "Johnnycake" in its memory. The village later changed its name to Unionville as construction began on the Valley Railway. In honor of the railroad's treasurer, Sylvester T. Everett, the town was renamed Everett shortly thereafter.

Aside from the old tavern--now a private residence adjacent to the lock--another interesting structure lies just southwest of the lock. This building was originally used as a horse barn by Alexander Stewart for travelers along the canal. around 1900, the barn was purchased by Rinaldo Chamberlain who converted it into a downstairs residence and second floor dance hall. Springs were installed under the flooring to allow Saturday night dancers to enjoy hours of fun on what was described as "the most beautiful hardwood dance floor you ever saw." The Park Service renovated it for use as a ranger station.

Hauntings

Reports of the hauntings at the lock are very vague. Some speculate that one possible ghost is "Henry": according to legend, this child accidentally drowned in the lock while swimming.

Unexplained footsteps have been heard inside the ranger station by park employees late at night. Perhaps it is the spirit of a former patron, looking to have one final dance. 

 

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Photographs


Valley Railway station in Everett around 1890.


Post-World War II street dance in Everett, Ohio.


Johnnycake Lock circa 1970s.


Everett Ranger Station in 2006.

Documents

 


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