Wisconsin Historical Society

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Architecture and History Inventory
RAPIDE CROCHE LOCK AND DAM | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:
Other Name:Rapide Croche Lock
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:27751
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:SE
Quarter/Quarter Section:SE
Year Built:1933
Survey Date:1988
Historic Use:lock
Architectural Style:NA (unknown or not a building)
Structural System:
Wall Material:Concrete
Other Buildings On Site:1
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Rapide Croche Lock and Dam Historic District
National Register Listing Date:12/7/1993 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:4/10/1992 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:Waterway Resources of the Lower Fox River
Additional Information:The present lock, which is oriented on an E/W axis was completed in 1934. It replaced one of quarried limestone construction. The 146 by 36 foot lock chamber and wing walls are comprised of concrete, the sides of which contain a pipe railing. Each of the lock's four miter gates is constructed of steel. Adjacent to each gate is a concrete platform that contains a tripod. A vertical shaft extends the height of the tripod. A handle is fixed to the top of the shaft, while the bottom of the shaft contains a gear that drives a horizontally placed spar, the end of which is attached to a lock gate. (It is a horizontal rack and pinion system.) Depending on which way the handle is turned, the spar is either taken in, thus opening the lock gate, or it is pushed out, in which case the gate closes. The chamber is flooded by six butterfly valves that are set in the floor of the lock, immediately upstream from the structure. As the valves are opened, water passes down into a culvert with a 90 degree turn, which then directs it under the upstream sill and straight into the chamber. Each valve is adjusted by a geared mechanism that sits on the lock's coping. A metal shaft connects the valve to the adjusting mechanism, three of which are placed adjacent to each of the upstream corners of the lock. The chamber is discharged through six small butterfly valves found at the bottom of the two downstream gates. There are three valves per gate. These valves are operated by the levers atop each gate. The gates contain a cat-walk that facilitates moving from one side of the lock to the other. The lock provides 8.3 feet of lift as it moves crafts from the other 602.1 feet above sea level upper pool to the 592.8 foot above sea level lower pool. It can be filled in three minutes and eight seconds, while it can be discharged in two minutes and fifty-six seconds.

It should be noted that the lock was recently sealed off as part of an effort to create a barrier that keeps Sea Lamprey from entering the Fox River and Lake Winnebago. Despite its closing, however, the lock remains operational.
Bibliographic References:(A) Date of construction: on wall of lock. (B) Annual Report Upon the Improvement of the Harbors on Lake Superior East of Keweenaw Point, and Harbors on the West and South Shores of Lake Michigan, Improvement of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers, in charge of D.C. Houston, Major of Engineers, Bvt. Colonol, U.S.A.; Being Appendix B of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1873 (Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office, 1873), 48.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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