Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Blue Island Lock (1922 60' Foot Canal)

What is today the Cal Sag Canal is a widening of a 60-foot channel completed in 1922.

Norman Rexford Flickr  CC BY-NC-SA
Open gates on the Blue Island locks in 1959. The north wall remains, along with the gatehouses. The gates themselves have been removed, but their location is easily identified today.
3D Satellite
Norman Rexford Flickr  CC BY-NC-SA

Cal-Sag Channel in Operation looking east (8-24-1922)

Construction of the canal was completed in 1922. It was only 60 ft. wide, except for three 160 ft. wide sites for passing barges. The Blue Island Locks, which contolled access to the Cal-Sag before the construction of the O'Brien Locks, were only 50 ft. wide.
Cynthia L. Ogorek's Along the Calumet River is highly recommended for those interested.

Norman Rexford Flickr  CC BY-NC-SA

Looking East from Rock Island Bridge (12-6-1916)

Homes along the right of the photo's frame are facing Canal Street
Canal Street actually predates the Cal-Sag Channel by over 80 years. It was named and platted in 1839, part of Peter Barton's "Portland" subdivision. Barton imagined Blue Island would develop into a powerful canal town.

In turn, the 60-foot canal replaced the Calumet Feeder Canal for the Indiana & Michigan Canal.

Norman Rexford Flickr  CC BY-NC-SA

Stony Creek and Canal Feeder

Blue Island before the Cal-Sag. The Calumet Feeder ran from the Little Calumet River to the I&M Canal at Lemont.
Map and section from John H. Volp's Blue Island bio The First Hundred Years.

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