Member Spotlight Archive

Cannelton, Indiana

Take Another Look
Published October 2016

The City of Cannelton joined AMP in 2014, and is located in the southern region of Indiana across the Ohio River from Kentucky and near the Cannelton Locks and Dam. The city was founded in 1836 as a result of a specific coal venture arranged by Seth Hunt with Samuel Gardner and James Hobart, and finally settled in 1837.

The name Cannelton was developed and adopted in 1844. The city was first called Coal Haven as many local companies developed coal mines at the time. In 1841 the name was changed to Cannelsburg by resident vote; the coal mined in the town specifically was cannel coal, a type of coal that contains more oil and produces heat quicker, and the town wanted that represented in the name. Finally, the name was transformed in 1844 to the present Cannelton designation.

Although Cannelton began as a coal town, in 1849 Hamilton Smith expanded the city’s industry profile by building a cotton mill. This mill employed around 400 workers and produced 200,000 pounds of cotton batting, and four million yards of cotton sheeting in its heyday. During the Civil War, World War I and II, the mill was then used to make uniforms for soldiers at which time the mill employed 35 workers until it ceased operations in 1954.

Every year the City of Cannelton hosts a Heritage Festival, a celebration that highlights the city’s historic foundation during the prosperous river trade business. The festival features hands-on arts and crafts for children, food, music, and live action demonstrations including blacksmith forges, and a Wild West-style shoot-out.

Cannelton is also home to a scenic byway next to the Ohio River; the Cannelton River Trail Greenway. This trail, debuting in 2012, features a wall with a painted mural that includes the words, “Like the mighty river, our heritage withstands the test of time.” The trail also features a 1,770 foot paved trail that shows off the river and includes a nice park atmosphere. This project was sustained by the Indiana Tourism Development Place-Based Investment Fund Grant, and the matched monies from cities residing in Perry County.

The City of Cannelton joined AMP in December 2014 as the organization’s first Indiana member. The city has a population of about 1,552 and serves about 1,035 total meters.

AMP’s Cannelton Hydroelectric Plant, an 88 megawatt (MW) run-of-the-river project on the Ohio River’s Cannelton Locks and Dam, is located just across the river from the city. This plant began commercial operation in June of 2016, and is expected to generate about 459,000 megawatt hours (MWh) annually.

As a member of AMP, Cannelton participates in the Other AMP Service Group (OASG).

For more information on the City of Cannelton, please visit