Lock Tender's Quarters

click to enlarge
lock tender
Restored Lock Tender's Home
Illinois and Michigan Canal near Morris, IL

In the mid 1800's, the Illinois and Michigan Canal was a vital link between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River - basically between the Atlantic Ocean and the rest of the country. Barges of goods were pulled by mules that walked on a path next to the canal. Changes in elevation were overcome by installing several locks. The locks would either fill with water or be emptied of water to allow the barges to travel the length of the canal. Each lock needed a tender or someone who would open and close the gates that held back the water.

This structure is a preserved lock tender's home and is located near Morris, IL. One of the two locks has been closed to show how it once operated.

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