Madison in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Tenney Park Lock and Dam
The first dam was built of earth in 1847 by Leonard J. Farwell, later a Wisconsin governor. The dam enlarged Lake Mendota and increased its depth. Prior to construction Mendota's water level was only slightly above Monona's, and the Catfish (Yahara) River meandered through connecting marsh.
Site of the first dam was South of the present lock and a large flour mill was built over the outlet. Torrential thunderstorms destroyed the original dam on April 4, 1866. Despite great controversy it was reconstructed.
In 1896 Madison City purchased Tenney Park site, built a boat lock, and used concrete to improve the dam. Controversy rose again in 1900 when riparian owners whose land was flooded sought removal of the dam. Their suit failed in the courts. The present lock was built by Madison City in 1959 and maintains a water level five feet above Lake Monona.
Erected 1967 by Dane County
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin, Dane County Historical Society series list.
Location. 43° 5.696′ N, 89° 22.242′ W. Marker is in Madison, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of Sherman Avenue and North Thornton Avenue, on the left when traveling north on Sherman Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Madison WI 53703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Sherman Avenue Crossing (within shouting distance of this marker); Tenney Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Tenney Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Steensland Bridge (approx. half a mile away); Fuller & Johnson Manufacturing Co. Office Building (approx. half a mile away); Bird Effigy Mound (approx. half a mile away); Burrows Park (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Steensland Bridge (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. This is a list of markers related to Tenney.
Also see . . . Madison Trust for Historic Preservation. More information on and a photo gallery of the park. (Submitted on April 25, 2011, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 2,325 times since then and 37 times this year. Last updated on July 27, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. 7. submitted on December 4, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. 8, 9. submitted on June 12, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.