Van Hoose canal

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The Van Hoose canal was a proposed waterway that would have connected the Tennessee River to the Gulf of Mexico from Guntersville, through Birmingham to the Black Warrior River. The idea was put forward in the 1890s by then-Mayor James Van Hoose. The $4.5 million proposal was considered by President McKinley to be important to preserve "the supremacy of America on the high seas in coal and iron."

In 1907 E. J. McCrossin offered to sell options and water rights to land along Locust Fork which could be used for power generation as well as for opening a canal toward the city.

Opponents of the waterway argued that canals had already been made obsolete by railroads. Ultimately a different route was selected, known as the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

The idea of linking Birmingham to the Black Warrior by making Village Creek navigable further upstream was revived in 2000 by then-Mayor of Fairfield Larry Langford.

References

  • "Offer options for canal route." (February 19, 1907) Birmingham News
  • "It's too easy to scoff at big dreams." (March 19, 2000) Birmingham News