From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Muskingum River flows generally north to south through the eastern hill country of Ohio, joining the Ohio River at Marietta, Ohio.
It was formerly 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 (by about 1930???), the locks fell into disrepair. However, since the 1960s the locks have been repaired and now enable pleasure craft to travel the entire navigable length of the river. It is the only remaining system of 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 (details on the webpage for the Muskingum River State Park).