Muskingum River

From Academic Kids

The Muskingum River is a tributary of the Ohio River, approximately 111 mi (179 km) long, in eastern Ohio in the United States. An important commercial route in the 19th century, it flows generally north to south through the eastern hill country of Ohio. It is the longest river entirely within the state of Ohio.

It is formed near Coshocton in northeastern Ohio by the confluence of the Walhonding and Tuscarawas rivers. It flows in a meandering course southward to Zanesville, where it is joined by the Licking and Moxahala rivers, then southeast past McConnelsville and Stockport. It joins the Ohio at Marietta.

In the mid 19th century it was an important commercial shipping route, with dams and locks to control the water level and allow boats to travel up and down the river. With the decrease in use of water-based transportation in Ohio in the 1920s, the locks fell into disrepair. Since the 1960s, however, the locks have been repaired and now enable pleasure craft to travel the entire navigable length of the river. The Muskingum waterway is one of the few remaining systems to use hand-operated river locks in the U.S.

In the 1970s, boaters were sometimes, with the permission of the lockmaster, allowed to operate the old-fashioned lock mechanisms themselves. The procedure appears to have become more formalized since then.

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