Sunday, January 11, 2009

Illinois' Hennepin Canal in January

Sometime tomorrow I will have my first entry in the Midwestern Presidential Pathways series.

Between Ronald Reagan's birthplace in Tampico, Illinois and Dixon, I crossed the Hennepin Canal in Whiteside County.

Here's what the Illinois Department of National Resources wrote about the canal on the occasion on of its 100th anniversary:

Construction on the Hennepin started in 1892 with the first boat going through in 1907, reducing the distance from Chicago to Rock Island by 419 miles. By the 1930s it was used primarily for recreational traffic.

The Hennepin was the first American canal built of concrete without stone cut facings. Although the Hennepin enjoyed limited success as a waterway, engineering innovations used in its construction were a bonus to the construction industry. Some of the innovations pioneered on the Hennepin Canal were probably used on the Panama Canal. Both used concrete lock chambers and both used a Feeder canal from a man made lake to water the canals because both needed water to flow 'uphill.'

There was not much boating going on last weekend when I took this photograph, and there won't be much this weekend either.

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4 comments:

Greybeard said...

Is there no "Hans Christian Anderson" in Illinois, John?

Jim Roper said...

No boating, but plenty of Ice
Hockey.

John Ruberry said...

Interesting insight. As for hockey, well, it wasn't as cold as it looked in the pic--about 25 degrees that day. Could've been some weak spots on th ice.

Illinoistocht said...

The icemeister in me says this looks like decent ice. Wish I could have made it...perhaps someday soon I'll get to skate it.

Any more photos of the frozen pathway?

www.illinoistocht.com