Benton Spillway in Elkhart County

Any thorough or in-depth study of local history should involve waterways or something associated with a body of water. Early settlers, and also the Native Americans, migrated to areas near a river, creek or stream. In Elkhart County the Elkhart River attracted many early settlers. Eventually the power of water was harnessed to do much good. One example is the Benton Spillway, now part of the River Preserve County Park. It is near County Road 31 and also near the small community of Benton in Elkhart County. It was part of a system involving a dam and canal. Later a hydroelectric plant was built in the Baintertown area. It shut down in 1969 and the plant, canal, dam and 1,000 acres were donated to Elkhart County Parks in 1970 and the River Preserve was created. Shown in the photo is a remnant of what was possibly a ditch or culvert of some type. No water flows through here any longer, but surely it once did. The photo was taken while visiting the Gathering of Five Medals annual event. This is a nice place to take a walk and just relax for a while. A reminder of a time when water’s power was harnessed differently.


Benton Spillway area in Elkhart County.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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