Duck Creek Aqueduct is a rare surviving example of a covered timber aqueduct. It was one of several similar structures on the Whitewater Canal, which operated between the Whitewater Valley and the Ohio River from 1839 to 1865. After being displaced by the railroad, the canal supplied hydraulic power for the industrial districts at Metamora and Brookville.
The significance of the 15-mile Whitewater Canal was not in its ability to create a profit, but rather its effect on the economic growth of the Whitewater River Valley, considered the gateway to the interior of Indiana. Before the canal, travel was challenging. Most waterways in Indiana were only navigable by canoe, and the alternative - horse and wagon - was difficult, slow and expensive.