NORTH MANCHESTER – Many towns along the Wabash River, including Wabash, Huntington and Lagro, were initially built as canal towns, with the canal playing a crucial role in their development.
On Sept. 8, the North Manchester Historical Society will present “Gateway to the West: The Wabash and Erie Canal,” a program by Bob Schmidt of the Canal Society of Indiana.
According to a press release, the program explains how, why and when canals were built in northern Indiana and their rise and fall.  There will be a special emphasis on the Wabash and Erie Canal, which passed through Huntington, Lagro and Wabash.
The Canal Society of Indiana formed in 1982 is headquartered in Fort Wayne. It sponsors tours twice a year exploring Midwest canals and publishes a monthly news and historical journal.
Schmidt, CSI president, retired from sales at Prudential Insurance and previously worked in finance at General Electric, Fort Wayne.  He is a board member of the American Canal Society and has traveled extensively throughout the US and Canada exploring various canals and canal structures.
The program will begin at 6:40 p.m. in the Assembly Room at Timbercrest Senior Living Community, 2201 East Street, North Manchester.
The public is also invited to come to the Assembly Room at 6 p.m. for a meal prior to the program. For those who wish to attend the dinner, reservations must be made no later than noon Sept. 5.  
The cost of the meal is $8.50. Reservations may be made by calling Evelyn at 260-982-6777, Mary at 260-982-1813 or the Center for History at 260-982-0672.
There is no cost for the program, which is free to the public. All are welcome.