Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Clarksville in Clark County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

River Navigation

 
 
River Navigation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, May 20, 2017
1. River Navigation Marker
Inscription.
River Navigation
The Dam - The huge concrete wall that you see is the McAlpine Dam. Its main function is to control water levels for navigation, but its unusual shape, an elongated Z, also provides water for the hydroelectric station while keeping the fossil beds visible during periods of low water. All this is accomplished by opening or closing gates in the dam. There are 5 upper gates to your left, under the bridge, and four lower gates, down river, connecting to the hydroelectric station. Each gate is 22 feet high and 100 feet wide! The dam is over 30 feet high, but looks much smaller because it is about a half a mile away. The waterfalls in the dam are called castellations. They allow water to reach the wetland next to the dam even in the driest months, which is very important for maintaining plant and animal species. What you see today is he third dam built here. The original was constructed in 1881 and major renovations were made in the 1920's and in 1961. Behind the dam you see the headwaters for the hydroelectric station. Boats are not allowed in this area because of the dangerous current near the turbines. The trees beyond the water are all on Shippingport Island. Once busy town, the island is now protected as part of the National Wildlife Conservation Area, with access by permit only. Beyond the island
River Navigation Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, May 20, 2017
2. River Navigation Marker
In the background is the McAlpine Dam and the railroad bridge over the Ohio River.
is the Louisville and Portland Canal.

The Canal and Locks- As early as 1802, the expense and delay of hauling freight around the falls was so serious that several plans were proposed to overcome the obstacle. The Louisville and Portland Canal was begun in 1825 and the first boat passed through in 1830. Originally the canal was 1.9 miles long, 64 feet wide and had a total lift of 26 feet with a three flight lock system. Renovations over the years have resulted in a canal 500 feet wide and a 110' by 1200' lock chamber with a lift of 37 feet. Construction is currently underway to build a second 110' x 1200' chamber to facilitate current and future commercial traffic The Ohio River carries 40% of the commercial water traffic in the continental U.S., according to the U.S. Commerce Department. In 2000, 55.8 million tons of products worth more than $12 billion passed through the canal. Coal, petroleum, grain, chemicals, iron and steel make up most of the tonnage.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates and maintains the McAlpine Locks and Dam.
For more information on the history of the area, visit the Falls of the Ohio interpretive center.
 
Erected by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers & Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
 
Location. 38° 16.586′ 
The Ohio River Below the McAlpine Dam image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, May 20, 2017
3. The Ohio River Below the McAlpine Dam
These rapids are the uppermost part of the Falls of the Ohio
N, 85° 45.82′ W. Marker is in Clarksville, Indiana, in Clark County. Marker is at the intersection of W. Winbourne Avenue and W Riverside Drive, on the right when traveling south on W. Winbourne Avenue. Touch for map. Located on the viewing deck of the Falls of the Ohio State Park Interpretive Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 W Riverside Drive, Clarksville IN 47129, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. History’s Great Explorers (within shouting distance of this marker); General LaFayette (approx. 1.2 miles away); Warder Park (approx. 1.2 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.2 miles away); Civil War Memorial (approx. 1.2 miles away); General George Rogers Clark (approx. 1.2 miles away in Kentucky); Duty Honor Country (approx. 1.3 miles away); Louisville Wharf During The Civil War Years (approx. 1.3 miles away in Kentucky).
 
Also see . . .
1. Falls of the Ohio Organization. (Submitted on May 29, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. Falls of the Ohio State Park, Indiana Department of Natural Resources. (Submitted on May 29, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
3. Falls of the Ohio State Park on Wikipedia. (Submitted on May 29, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
 
Categories. Waterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 29, 2017. This page originally submitted on May 29, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 29, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
Paid Advertisement