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An Archaeological Investigation in Akron’s Cascade Locks Park

History, Regional Interest

A busy and densely packed valley in its heyday, this area once housed an iron foundry, a furniture factory, a distillery, several grist mills, and two rubber plants—all within a half-mile stretch of the canal. Still remaining are several watered locks and wasteway structures, evidence of the Cascade Race and tunnel two canal-era buildings; Ace Rubber/Garro Tread (one of Akron’s few remaining rubber plants); and two historic railroads. The entire Cascade Locks Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior in 1992.

Jack Gieck was an engineer and past-president of the Canal Society of Ohio and founder of Cinemark, Inc., a producer of technical and historical films including the award-winning video series Ohio’s Canal Era. He is the author of the popular A Photo Album of Ohio’s Canal Era, 1825–1913 (Kent State University Press, 1992) and Early Akron’s Industrial Valley: A History of the Cascade Locks (Kent State University Press, 2008).