In the Channahon area, the chief engineer of the I and M Canal William Gooding was faced with a decision as how to handle the crossing of the canal and the DuPage River. In other areas, this situation was handled by building an aqueduct to carry the canal over the intersecting streams. Gooding decided to construct a dam across the DuPage River. This was built in 1846–1848. It was a timber crib structure. The dam produced a stable water elevation of the river. It forced water into the canal. Locks were constructed on each side of the dam. (Locks 6 and 7). The crossing problem was handled and water was provided to the canal.
In 1877, the dam was replaced with a structure built of quarried stone. The cost of construction was $3,207.24. The dam was repaired in 1918, 1920, 1925. The current dam was built in 1935 by the CCC. Total cost was $14,647. The spillwater on the dam created a man made waterfall. It is 165 feet long and 11.5 feet high.