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Milwaukee and Rock River Canal | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Milwaukee and Rock River Canal

Milwaukee and Rock River Canal | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

 

From Wisconsin: comprising sketches of counties, towns, events, institutions, and persons, arranged in cyclopedic form, ed. by Ex-Gov. Geo. W. Peck (Madison, Wis., Western Historical Association, 1906):

"The first session of the territorial legislature at Belmont in 1836 incorporated the Milwaukee & Rock River Canal company, which had for its purpose the construction of a canal connecting Lake Michigan by way of the Waukesha lakes with the Rock river, and thus establishing a waterway to the Mississippi river. Congress made a land grant for the purpose, surveys and estimates were made and during the twelve years preceding the admission of the state to the Union repeated efforts had been made to carry out the enterprise. A careful estimate made in detail by Increase A. Lapham placed the entire cost of constructing the canal, including locks, at about $725,000. During the twelve years from 1836 to 1848, when the prospect was abandoned, the only actual work done besides making surveys was the construction of a dam across the Milwaukee river at Milwaukee. Bonds which had been negotiated in 1841 to raise money for the enterprise were repudiated by the territorial legislature in 1846, but prior to the admission of the state these repudiation resolutions were rescinded. The enterprise contemplated as well the deepening of the Catfish (Yahara) river from the Rock river up through the Four Lakes, and a canal from the head of Lake Mendota to the Wisconsin river near Arena. The advent of railroad building was the chief influence in bringing about an abandonment of the canal project."

View Turning Points in Wisconsin History for more information.

Wisconsin: comprising sketches of counties, towns, events, institutions, and persons, arranged in cyclopedic form, ed. by Ex-Gov. Geo. W. Peck (Madison, Wis., Western Historical Association, 1906).

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