In this 2005 interview, Tim Donovan, Director of the Ohio Canal Corridor, discusses the history of this non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the Ohio canal and its towpath. Donovan, who grew up on the west side of Cleveland in the 1950s, and attended St. Ignatius High School and Cleveland State University, recounts early jobs he had in the Cleveland area, including working at Jones & Laughlin's steel mills and serving as a Census Bureau surveyor. He was working at J&L during the famous 1969 Cuyahoga River fire. Donovan also worked as a videographer, and it was this occupation which led him to his life's work of preserving the Ohio Canal. In the balance of this interview, he discusses the many efforts he and others made, first to preserve the Warehouse District in the 1980s, and then the Ohio Canal from the mid 1980s to the present (2005). He discusses in detail how the non-profit corporation was built; contributions from the private sector, including American Steel & Wire and Alcoa; and critical federal preservation legislation passed during the Clinton Administration.


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Donovan, Tim (interviewee)


Gould, Matthew (interviewer)


History 400



Document Type

Oral History


63 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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