Monday, December 01, 2014

I&M Canal NHC at 30: LaSalle

This is the penultimate post of my Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor at 30 series.

LaSalle is the site of the final lock on the old canal, Lock 16. And it's a little more than a mile from the terminus of the Illinois & Michigan Canal State Trail--where the canal flows into the Illinois River in Peru.

I captured this photograph of the canal facing east on the Joliet Street bridge in LaSalle. The town was named for Robert de La Salle, who led the first European expedition to the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi.

Here's the view facing west--from atop Lock 16.

The next few photographs, including this one, will be of that lock.

During times of flooding, the nearby Illinois River will submerge the parking lot in the background and temporarily combine the river and canal waters. So far, a couple of men fishing as I snapped photos told me, Asian carp have not penetrated east of the lock.

The gates facing east.

There are several iron silhouette statues at Lock 16, including this one of a locktender.

Quite the narrow passageway.

I love the colors in this photograph.

Sometimes a photographer inadvertently captures himself in a picture. There is my shadow on the spit of dirt on the canal.

All that is left of a long-abandoned canal bridge are these limestone piers. I tried to find out more about this bridge--was it for trains or for cars?--but I struck out online.

While serving in the Illinois General Assembly, Abraham Lincoln was a strong proponent for building the I&M Canal. Lincoln and his family were canal passengers in 1848--the canal's first year. They traveled from Chicago and disembarked in LaSalle . Pictured here are silhouettes of Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln, not pictured are the silhouettes of their children at the time, Robert and Edward.

The barge they rode on probably looked like this one. While it's a replica boat, it's a working barge.

Downtown LaSalle

Next: The canal meets the river

Earlier I&M Canal NHC at 30: posts:

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