Far above Johnstown, PA was the South Fork Dam which was built by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania between 1838 and 1853. This was part of a cross-state canal system that was aptly named the Main Line of Public Works. The town of Johnstown was the located at the eastern end of the Western Division Canal and behind the dam was the reservoir fed by Lake Conemaugh. During this time period railroads began to take the pace of canal barge transport and accordingly the canal was abandoned by the Commonwealth. The canal was later sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad who in turn sold the dam and lake to private investors.