Paradise Spring Riverwalk Sign
Paradise Spring Historical Park is rich with history. In 1826, United States representatives met on this site with the Chiefs of the Miami and the Potawatomi Tribes. A treaty was signed allowing for settlement of land in Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan.
A portion of the Wabash and Erie Canal ran through the site from 1834 to 1872. In 1902 an Electric Urban Railroad was built on the towpath of the abandoned canal. The Public Service Company operated the Electric Rail until 1938.
From June 28 to July 5, 1828, John Peter Paul, member of a canal surveying party, stayed at the Treaty Grounds while surveying up and down the river. He kept a diary of his trip from Fort Wayne to the Tippecanoe. That diary was later printed by R.E. Banta in 1933 entitled, “We Run the Canal Line.” On June 28th he described having a “cold bath in all its perfection” at the Treaty Grounds. He only had two complaints about the site. First, he felt they had too much rain and secondly, “moschetos extremely troublesome.” On July 4th they “remained in camp. Mirth and music close the evening on the Fourth.” This is the first known 4th of July celebration held in Wabash County. On the 5th they moved on to the Mississinewa River area.
In 1856 the first train arrived in Wabash. The Cincinnati, Wabash and Michigan Railroad, long since known as the Big Four (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, and St Louis Railroad) was constructed through Wabash County. A portion of that railroad line passes to the east of the Park and remains in operation to this day.