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 Dam
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:27752
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:SE
Quarter/Quarter Section:SW
Year Built:1930
Survey Date:1988
Historic Use:dam
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:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office. This dam is a concrete structure with an overall length of 461.3 feet. Built in 1930-31, it is located immediately to the south of the very west end of the short canal segment associated with the site. The dam creates the pool that floods the canal in which the Rapide Croche Lock is located. It is generally oriented on an NNE/SSW axis, and its south abutment adjoins a private hydroelectric plant.

Anchoraed to the river's rock bottom, the dam consists of three sections. The northern section, which is 152 feet, and the southern section, which is 204 feet, are concrete spillways. The spillways are twenty four feet wide, and fix the maximum level of the pool the dam creates at 602.15 feet above sea level (it maintains about a ten foot head). The middle portion of the dam is 105 feet, and contains four concrete sluiceways, each of which contains a fifteen and a half by twenty foot, steel Tainter gate. The gates are operated by a "crab," a small electrically operated mechanism that moves from gate to gate on a track. The "crab" contains a winch, to which the chain on each end of the gate is attached. As the winch is activated, the chain is taken in or let out, and the height of the gate is adjusted accordingly. A steel catwalk, which facilitates inspections and mantenance, extends the length of the dam.

Placed atop the dam is a single story front gabled shed that was erected to shelter the electric "crab." Spanning the abutments adjacent to the first four Tainter gates, the lift house is reached by a metal catwalk that then passes it on the upstream side. It is clad with drop siding, roofed with asphalt shingles and has walls bounded with pilaster strips. The single window in each side wall and the panelled door at the right of the lockside endwall have simple surrounds. A pair of heavy wooden doors in the opposite endwall swing out to allow passage of the "crab" to whatever gate must be adjusted. This small building has a remarkably heavy frame. The side wall sills are the bottom chord of a triangular, internal truss, above and below which the studs are pierced. A single panel with a navigational warning is attached to the upstream roof slope.

Construction on the dam was underway in 1930, and completed in 1931.
Bibliographic References:(A) Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers, 1930: Extract - Report Upon the Improvement of Rivers and Harbors in the Milwaukee, Wis., District (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1930), 1451. (B) Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers, 1931: Extract - Report Upon the Improvement of Rivers and Harbors in the Milwaukee, Wis., District (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1931), 1469. (C) Date of construction: on piers
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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