Split Rock Part
As we proceeded further west from Utica on the Illinois Michigan Canal, we reached
The region of Lock 13.
This area is not marked. We saw an area that could possibly represent the remains of the lock.
Approximately 2.5 miles west of Utica is the actual area of the Split Rock.
The Split Rock is a gap in a ridge for the passage of the I and M. Canal. It was built between 1836 and 1842. It was built with black powder, picks and shovels. In the 1850’s, the Rock Island Railroad built a tunnel through the north bluff. In 1882, the canal was partially filled in and part of the north bluff was removed for a second set of tracks for the Rock Island. A third set of tracks was built in 1952. The track through the tunnel was abandoned at this time.
In 1903, the Chicago, Ottawa, and Peoria R.R., built two bridges to allow passage over the canal and the Rock Island Railroad tracks. These bridges are no longer present; they were removed after the railroad went bankrupt. At one time, there was a beer garden and a dance pavilion on the north bluff.