The Haulover Canal from the Indian River (Lagoon) to the Mosquito Lagoon

The old Haulover Canal before the 1950's
The old Haulover Canal before the 1950’s

This seven-mile long canal connects the Indian River (Lagoon) to the Mosquito Lagoon. In 1852, the first chief of the Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Horatio Governeur Wright, supervised the construction of a plank board-lined 10 foot wide by 2 feet deep waterway after Congress grudgingly approved the expenditure following decades of debates over Congress’s power to expend federal funds for inland waterway construction in the absence of express Constitutional authority.  Here, in this instance, the federal government’s obligation to provide for the “common defense” gave Congress implied authority to build canals and inland waterways. One hundred years later, this argument would support President Eisenhower’s initiative to build a nationwide Interstate Highway system.

The Haulover would be the first constructed link in Florida’s part in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The name “Haulover” was given the short link as a result of three Seminole Wars during which the military removed men and materials from barges transporting men and materials from either the end of the Indian River or the Mosquito Lagoon and “hauled over” a seven-mile spit of land to the other body of water. In the 1950’s, the federal government modernized this short link, cutting through hard, sharp coquina rock at considerable cost.

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