In 1972, Tom Hahn, Bill Shank, and Bill Trout co-founded the American Canal Society.
Tom also became acquainted with Virginia canal
and river expert, Bill Trout
Tom was Founding President and Editor of the newsletter, Bill Shank as Founding Vice President and Production Editor of the newsletter and Bill Trout as the Founding Secretary/Treasurer and Contributing Editor.
William E. Trout III, PhD - Author, publisher, and Co-founder and past president of the American Canal Society
William E. Trout III (Bill) was born in Staunton, Virginia on April 21, 1937.
He attended Westhampton Junior High School and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High in Richmond, Virginia in 1955.
He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Richmond in 1959.
He studied Drosophila Genetics under Nobel Prize winner H.J. Muller at Indiana University, receiving an A.M. in Zoology in 1964 and a Ph.D. in Genetics in 1965.
After spending a year at the Biology Division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
in Tennessee under a National Institute of Health Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Bill Trout
joined the laboratory of Dr. W.D. Kaplan in the Biology Division of the City of Hope National Medical Center
in Duarte, California.
Bill Trout III
was listed in WHO'S WHO IN THE WEST (1974+) and in AMERICAN MEN AND WOMEN OF SCIENCE.
first became interested in canal history and lore in the 1950s when his
boy scout troop made overnight hikes along the James River and Kanawha Canal in Richmond Virginia.
remembers asking everyone what the canal was and where it went.
Nobody could answer his
questions so he
began working it out for himself.
used opportunities to canal-look whenever his
job took him to a site where there was a canal.
also took off three months each year to return to Virginia and conduct field and archival research.
By the mid 1960s Bill Trout
had explored a number of canals, poured over archival records and had enough confidence in his
knowledge to begin writing historical canal articles.
name came to the attention of canal experts Bill Shank and Tom Hahn.
Bill Trout became the ACS's Founding Secretary/Treasurer and Contributing Editor for the Society's newsletter.
Bill retired temporarily in 1983, "with the intention of working on a book for a year".
'temporary' retirement became permanent, at which time Bill Shank and Tom Hahn decided that it was Bill Trout's
'turn' to take over as president of the ACS
, which he
did from 1985 to 1997.
Bill Trout is also a co-founder of the Virginia Canal and Navigation Society and a current member of the boards of the American Canal Society and of the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society and a past board member of the Archaeological Society of Virginia.
has had more than two hundred articles and notes on canal archaeology, history, parks and preservation published.
is also the author of The American Canal Guide, an ACS series of regional inventories of America's Historic Canal Resources.
awards include the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation's E. Boyd Award for excellence in Historic Preservation, the Historic Petersburg Foundation's Petersburg Heritage Award, the Preservation Alliance of Virginia's
Katherine Glaize Rockwood Distinguished Preservationist Award, the Council of Virginia
Archaeologists' Virginia Sherman Memorial Award, the Association for the Preservation of Virginia's
Antiquities' Mary Mason Anderson Williams Award, and the James River Association's
Guardian of the River Award.
Bill Trout and his wife Nancy (both ACS Directors) now live in Virginia where Bill plans many, many more historical publications and projects.