Menasha in Winnebago County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Builders and Owners of the Fox River Locks
—Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails —
Size: 144’ x 35’
Construction: Concrete walls and steel gates
Built 1852. Rehabilitated 1937. Rebuilt 1978-1979.
Filling Time: About 4 min. Emptying Time: About 4 min.
Since its completion in 1856, the Fox River navigation system has had four different owners. The system was built by the Fox and Wisconsin Improvement Company, but that company went bankrupt in 1866. It later reformed as the Green Bay and Mississippi Canal Company, which sold the locks to the United States Government in 1872.
The federal government put the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in charge of the locks. The Corps surveyed the river’s condition and began repairing or rebuilding the locks. By 1910 workers had rebuilt or repaired most of the locks on the Lower Fox River. The Corps continued maintaining the locks and dredged the canals to keep navigation on the river safe.
Commercial traffic on the Lower Fox River ended by the late 1950s. Recreational traffic increased for some years, but maintaining the locks for this purpose was not a priority for the federal government. After the 1987 season, the Corps closed all but three of the Lower Fox locks. The Menasha lock remained open through the 1980s and 90s. As the gateway to Lake Winnebago, it is heavily used by recreational boaters.
Settlers completed a lock at Neenah before the Menasha lock was finished. However, the route through Menasha was the “official” state channel, and the Neenah lock fell into disrepair and was abandoned by 1866.
Erected by Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin’s Maritime Trails marker series.
Location. 44° 12.132′ N, 88° 27.65′ W. Marker is in Menasha, Wisconsin, in Winnebago County. Marker can be reached from Broad Street ¼ mile west of Tayco Street (Wisconsin Highway 114). Touch for map. Marker is located along the Friendship Trail on the west side of the Friendship Trail Bridge at the lock. Marker is in this post office area: Menasha WI 54952, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other Fritse Park - Indian Mound Reconstruction (approx. half a mile away); Curtis Reed (approx. 0.6 miles away); Wisconsin Central Railroad (approx. 0.6 miles away); Butte des Morts (approx. 0.6 miles away); Jean Nicolet Monument (approx. one mile away); 1st Sergeant Elmer J. Burr (approx. one mile away); Specialist Fourth Class Kenneth Stumpf (approx. one mile away); Menasha’s Isle of Valor (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Menasha.
Regarding Menasha Lock. Marker is part of the Wisconsin's Maritime Trails marker series.
Additional keywords. Locks, Dams
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 19, 2014, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 221 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 19, 2014, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.