Metamora is a very small, historic canal town. Of the many dozens of towns that were built along the canals in the 1820s-40s, Metamora is the only one I know of that has managed to turn itself into such a wildly successful tourist attraction. At this point Metamora is little besides a tourist attraction. It has 188 residents as of 2010. Metamora was founded in 1838 along the Whitewater Canal which followed the Whitewater River from Lawrenceburg/Greendale, near Cincinnati to Hagerstown Indiana. The canal was built in sections starting in 1836. It was only fully operational until 1847 although some sections were open for longer. Railroads generally replaced canals after the mid 1800s. Metamora never grew very large and after the canal shut down began to decline. It's amazing that Metamora and sections of the canal managed to survive the following long period of neglect. Whitewater Canal State Historic site was established in 1946. Since then, sections of the canal as well as a small mill have been preserved and restored. The town of Metamora meanwhile has managed to promote itself as a historic destination and seems to be doing quite well. Tour busses arrive on a regular basis and the streets are crowded with visitors. The small commercial area of Metamora has several successful looking shops and bed and breakfasts. The success of Metamora is more remarkable given that it's not near any large centers of population.
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