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.

MWRD posted
Historical photo of the week: Construction of the Cal-Sag Channel in Blue Island on September 16, 1920, viewed looking east towards Stony Creek and the Ann Street and Western Ave bridges, showing A. Guthrie & Co. Inc casting concrete channel walls which were later removed when the channel was widened between 1955 and 1965.
I wonder how many times the Cal Sag has been widened. This 1914 cut looks rather wide.
Forgotten Railways, Roads, and Places shared
Joseph Obrien Originally dug as a feeder canal for the I & M canal around 1850, than it was widened again in the 1950s to what we have today.
David M Laz posted
The Cal Sag Channel under construction on Oct. 5, 1914
Turk Meyers Definitely a deeper looking channel than the Sanitary and Ship Canal.
Jose J Aguado It's that deep then, is it?
Michael Kaput 25 to 30 Ft. deep.
Phil Lauricella Many of those workers, Paddy Irish, are buried in St. James on the Sag churchyard. Along with the ghosts there, it is an amazing place to visit. My wife was baptized there in the 1950s.....
John Weber what is the address ?
Dennis DeBruler John Weber 10600 Archer Ave, Lemont, IL 60439

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