Shelton in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Location. 41° 19.34′ N, 73° 5.883′ W. Marker is in Shelton, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker can be reached from Canal Street East 0.1 miles from Bridge Street when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shelton CT 06484, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Hill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Constitution Oak (about 600 feet away); To Honor the Men and Women of the City of Shelton (about 700 feet away); Shelton (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shelton World War II Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Derby Korea – Vietnam Memorial (approx. half a mile away); Derby Veterans Monument (approx. half a mile away); Derby Firemen’s Memorial (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shelton.
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on a lock gate.
Regarding Shelton Locks. The Ousatonic Dam and Shelton Canal were constructed in the late 1860's to power new factories which lead to the rise of industrial Shelton. The dam is now called the Derby-Shelton Dam. Derby is on the east side of the Housatonic River, Shelton is on the west.
The canal was the power source for all downtown industries in an age before electricity. The dam was built in order to fill the canal with water at an elevation higher than the river.
Each factory tapped into the canal with a tunnel. The water fell to the river below, powering a turbine, connected to factory machinery through a series of shafts, pulleys, and belts.
Most of the canal has been filled in over the years, but a remnant still survives off the northwest end of Canal Street. The remaining canal is 1200 feet long and 80 feet wide, totaling 2.5 acres. It rests on a six-acre piece of riverfront property owned by the hydroelectric company which operates the dam, and is open to the public under their federal licensing agreement. There are picnic tables, views of the Housatonic River and dam, and steps leading to the water. Public access is at the north end of Canal Street.
The canal and locks were last used by boats in 1973.
Also see . . . Ousatonic Dam and Canal. Page from a virtual tour of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. (Submitted on February 8, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Landmarks • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 1,388 times since then and 178 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on February 2, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. 9, 10. submitted on March 7, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.