Mule Power Panel and Statue

Life-sized mule statue and exhibit with tactile bronze mule; paved trail leads to a white building.
Blossom, the bronze mule, gazes at Canal Exploration Center.

NPS / Tim Fenner

Quick Facts

Accessible Sites, Audio Description, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Restroom - Accessible, Tactile Exhibit

When the Ohio & Erie Canal was first built, horses were commonly used to pull passenger packets. Horses required a lot of grain and can be overworked. Slower and steadier mules soon replaced them as the engine of choice. Mules are a cross between a horse and a donkey. This hybrid animal is smarter and more efficient than a horse. To pull 30 tons of freight required sturdy harnessing.

Today, a bronze statue of a mule in harness watches over the canal, commemorating the hundreds that once labored along the towpath. There is a graphic panel beside the statue with a tactile scale model.