Little Vermillion Aqueduct
I recently visited the Illinois State Archives in Springfield and compiled the following information about contractors working on the Illinois Michigan Canal.
Locks. Lock 3 Charles Wern
Lock 4 Grubb and Ford, Charles Wern
Lock 5 Wilson, Brodie and Co.
Lock 8. Mattison and Co.
Lock 9 Kennedy and Kilduff
Lock 11 Sanger, Beale and Cooper
Lock 12 Grubb and Ford, Armstrong and Johns
Lock 13 Whaley
Lock 14 Elliot and O’Connor
Lock 15 Cooper and Sanger
Feeder Canals were used on the Illinois Michigan Canal to maintain water levels. These canals were: Calmer Feeder, DuPage Feeder, Kankakee Feeder, and the Fox River Feeder.
The eastern most one was the Calumet Feeder. It extended from the Little Calumet River in Blue Island to the Illinois Michigan Canal at the Sag Bridge. It’s total length was 16.7 miles. Contractors working on the project were Clifford,Sistan, Odom, Norton, Blackstone.
The next western feeder was the DuPage Feeder. This was a very short channel linking the DuPage River to the I and M Canal near Channahon area. It was used for only a short time There is not much information available about this structure. Contractors were Harris and Johnston
The next feeder was the Kankakee Feeder.This extended from the Kankakee River near Wilmington to the I and M Canal in the area now known as McKinley Woods. Contractors included Perkna, Adams, Norton, Black, Pesrena, Adams, Blacktone, Dinwiddie.
The next feeder was the Fox River Feeder. It extended from Fox River in Dayton to the I and M Canal in Ottawa. Contractors included Green, Stratten, Donnevan.
The aqueducts were used on the Illinois Michigan Canal to cross existing rivers and creeks in the path of the canal.
The western most of the aqueducts crossed the Little Vermillion River in LaSalle. The age of the original construction is unknown. It’s length is 140 feet. At the time of my last visit summer of 2016, the aqueduct was being repaired. Contractors working on the project included Bryne, Cody, Cahill, Fleahill, Byron, and Howe.
The next most eastern aqueduct is the one over the Pecumsaugen Creek. Not much is known about its history. Contractors were Whaley and Brody.
Proceeding eastward, the next aqueduct encountered crossed the Fox River in Ottawa. Construction began in 1839. It was completed in 1842. The original structure had limestone piers and a wooden superstructure. The wood was replaced with iron in 1922. The aqueduct was the largest on the Illinois Michigan Canal. It measured 464 feet in length
At one time there was a towpath bridge, a wagon bridge, and an electric railroad bridge. The rail bridge was abandoned in in 1934. It was converted by the CCC into a new tow path bridge in 1935. The aqueduct currently carries no water.
The contractors working on the project included: Williams, Howe, Hall, Lord, and Sanger Construction.
Fox River Aqueduct
The next eastern aqueduct crossed Nettle Creek in Morris. It was between 80–90 feet in length. It was built in 1847. It originally had Redstone piers and a wooden superstructure. The piers were replaced with cut stones. The wood superstructure was replaced by iron. The aqueduct was destroyed by a flood in April, 2013. It has yet to be repaired. Contractors included Nettlebrok, Pierce, and Armstrong
Nettle Creek Aqueduct
The eastern most aqueduct is in Grundy County. It crosses the Aux Sable Creek. It was constructed in 1848. It was 136 feet in length and 18 feet in width. The original structure had limestone piers and a wooden superstructure. This was replaced by a steel structure in 1927. The limestone piers were extensively remodeled in 1948. Contractors were Matteson, Campbell, Lord, Wall, Sordslo, Kinsley.
Aux Sable Aqueduct
Aux Sable Aqueduct