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Songs and Stories
     October 28, 2019      #9D-301 SsK
 
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This map shows the feeder canal connection to the I&M Canal that allowed steamboats and barges to carry cargo between Chicago and landings on the Kankakee River. At lower right on the map is Lock and Dam No. 1, completed in 1861. Two more locks would be constructed at Wilmington. Ambitious plans for

Jack Klasey: A navigable Kankakee River? 

Jack Klasey: ¿Un río Kankakee navegable?

By Jack Klasey
Looking Back


Each year, millions of tons of coal, grain, lumber and other cargo moves on huge barges up and down the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. Commercial navigation of those rivers was made possible by the building of a series of locks and dams that maintain a consistent water depth.

Plans to make the Kankakee River (which merges with the DesPlaines River near Wilmington to form the Illinois River) navigable for commercial traffic were proposed as long ago as 1847 and as recently as 1968. The earliest of the plans was partly and temporarily successful, opening 21 miles of the Kankakee to small steamboats and barges for about ...

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