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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lockport in Will County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Hydraulic Basin

 
 
The Hydraulic Basin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 9, 2019
1. The Hydraulic Basin Marker
Inscription.  To take advantage of the natural slope of the valley towards the Des Plaines River, the Hydraulic Basin was constructed on the westside of the I & M Canal. The 260-foot by 370-foot basin, begun in 1848, gave Lockport the greatest water power potential of any point along the Canal.

The 21-foot fall of water of the basin, fed by Canal, was used to power a complex of mills owned by the Norton Company. Around the basin were a flour mill and grain elevator, a cooper shop, and a sawmill later a paper mill for making strawboard, a coarse cardboard. The basin was also a turning basin for boats.

In 1871, the Canal between Chicago and Lockport was deepened which stabilized the water level in the basin. This increased the hydraulic power and enabled the Norton Company to become one of the largest flour milling operations in Illinois.

As the use of the Canal declined the Hydraulic Basin was gradually filled in. The site, seen across the bridge, is now marked by a picnic shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
 
Location. 41° 35.195′ N, 88° 
The Hydraulic Basin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 9, 2019
2. The Hydraulic Basin Marker
3.613′ W. Marker is in Lockport, Illinois, in Will County. Marker can be reached from Canal Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1201 Commerce Street, Lockport IL 60441, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lockport Station (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Norton Building (about 700 feet away); Historic Lockport (about 700 feet away); Lock 1 (approx. mile away); Illinois & Michigan Canal Office (approx. 0.3 miles away); Abraham Lincoln (approx. 0.3 miles away); William Schuler (approx. 0.3 miles away); George Gaylord (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lockport.
 
More about this marker. The marker is located on the Illinois & Michigan Canal Trail, aka Gaylord Donnely Trail. The street names are only a general reference.
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
Site of the Hydraulic Basin image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 9, 2019
3. Site of the Hydraulic Basin
Note the CCC Picnic Shelter on the left.
 

More. Search the internet for The Hydraulic Basin.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 7, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 30, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 84 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 30, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
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