Locks 1 and 2; Lockport

It seems appropriate to consider Locks 1 and 2 together because of their uniqueness.    Originally, both locks were meant to be adjacent to each other.  However, this was changed in order to utilize the hydraulic potential of the Lockport area.   The modified plan had the Locks located a mile apart.  Each lock had a 10 foot lift.  Each was constructed of locally quarried limestone with hydraulic cement used as mortar.  In 1838, the contracts for construction were were let to George Barnet.    Both locks were 110 feet long and 18 feet wide.  Both had wooden flooring over bedrock.  The locks has timber gates.

One unique findings is the different  appearance of the upper and lower wing walls.  They were longer and differently shaped.   They were intended to narrow the canal width at the entrance to the lock chamber.   Both have a pointed upper berm side wing wall. Dam next to this area has an opening to take excess water around the lock chamber and into the canal through an opening in the lower berm wing wall.  Originally, it was intended that these bypasses were to be used to generate hydraulic power.  Eventually this happened at Lock 1 where a tannery was operated  beginning in the 1870’s.  This was no longer operational in the lateral 1890’s.    Ultimately only the foundations of this building remained.   Lock 2 was never used to produce hydraulic power.

In the 1980’s, a project was undertaken to reinforce the floor and walls of  Lock 1.   Although water courses through the Lock, there are no timber gates currently.  Information about any rehabilitation of Lock 2 is lacking.  It has no gates.  Water flows through the lock.

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Lock 2

 

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Lock 2

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Lock 1

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