Burnett’s Creek Arch

Continue on Towpath Road to Burnett’s Creek Arch, which is a boat bridge over the former Wabash & Erie Canal. The creek was named for William Burnett, a fur trader who married a Potawatomi woman. Their son, Abraham Burnett, was half Potawatomi and fought on the side of the Prophet at the Battle of Tippecanoe. He adopted a relative, young Abram Burnett, a full-blood Potawatomi, who was on the Trail of Death. This young Abram Burnett is the ancestor of Tom Hamilton and George Wesselhoft, both members of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and the Trail of Death Commemorative Committee.

Rural Carroll County, Indiana - Burnett’s Creek Arch. GPS N-4042128 W-8634162.

Located on Towpath Road north of Delphi, Indiana. The arch supported a boat bridge across the creek so that the canal boats could cross over the creek. It was built c. 1838- 1840 on the Wabash and Erie Canal. This canal was 468 miles long and linked Lake Erie with the Ohio River at Terre Haute, Indiana. This limestone arch, built in 1840, was an aqueduct that carried the canal over Burnett’s Creek. Submerged walnut timbers support it. Some of the limestone slabs, hauled by oxen from Georgetown Quary, are 12 feet long, two feet thick and several feet wide. The arch supported the weight of the canal water, the towpath and boats loaded with freight and passengers. It now carries Towpath Road with its trucks and cars and farm machinery traffic. It is probably the oldest working bridge in Indiana. (Photo by Mike Dodson, Shawnee, Oklahoma, Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan, 2003.)

Burnett’s Creek Arch - GPS N-4042128 W-8634162.

Walk across the road to the other side of the hill and you can see the stream under it and wade in the water. This is the view looking under Burnett’s Creek Arch. The tunnel is 90 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 10 feet tall. The creek was named for William Burnett, the French fur trader, or his son, Abraham Burnett, whose mother was Potawatomi. Abraham Burnett adopted his nephew, Abram Burnett, a full blood Potawatomi. Abram was the great grandfather of Tom Hamilton and George Wesselhoft, members of the Trail of Death caravan. Pictured above is Bill Willard, Rochester, Indiana, who drove his Chevrolet truck and 5th wheel camper to lead all 4 Trail of Death Commemorative caravans. (Photo by Larry Prichard, Lynn, Indiana, on Trail of Death Commemorative Caravan, 2003.)

Burnett Creek Arch GPS N-4042128 W-8634162.

Artist’s conception of Wabash & Erie Canal, Burnett’s Creek Arch No. 100 and Lock No. 28.

One in a series of permanent installations, this 42" x 72" oil painting mural by Terry Lacy hangs in the Wabash & Erie Canal Interpretative Center, Delphi, Indiana. (Published with permission of Dan McCain, Canal director, Delphi, Indiana.)

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This page updated Aug 19, 2007.