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- French explorer/cartographer Louis Jolliet first suggested the construction of a canal connecting Lake Michigan with the Mississippi River (via the Illinois River) in 1673, but it wasn’t until 1836 that construction actually began. The canal, measuring 96 miles long by 60 feet wide by six feet deep, was completed in 1848, instantly allowing boat travel from Chicago to reach the Read more...
- Of the 15 original locks installed to maneuver boat traffic up and down the 140-foot elevational grade between Chicago and LaSalle-Peru, only one survives: I&M Canal Lock 14, in LaSalle, IL. Like all the other I&M locks, Lock 14 was built with local limestone, and possesses massive white oak gates and swing arms. This site also provides visitors with an Read more...