Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
MAIN ST AT FOX RIVER | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Kaukauna Dam
Other Name:Kaukauna Dam
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:51841
Location (Address):MAIN ST AT FOX RIVER
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1931
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: Kaukauna Locks Historic District
National Register Listing Date:12/7/1993 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:
National Register Multiple Property Name:Waterway Resources of the Lower Fox River
Additional Information:Photo code: FCS 4/28. This dam is a concrete structure with an overall length of 603 feet. Built in 1931-32, it is located immediately to the south of the Guard Lock. The dam creates the pool that floods the canal in which the Kaukauna locks are located. It is generally oriented on an NE/SW axis.

Anchored to the river's rock bottom, the dam consists of three sections. The northern section, which is 199 feet, and the southern section, which is also 199 feet, are spillways. The spillways are twenty four feet wide and fix the maximum level of the pool the dam creates at 652.76 feet above the sea level (it maintains about a ten foot head). The middle portion of the dam is 205 feet, and contains eight concrete sluiceways, each of which contains a fourteen by twenty foot, steel Tainter gate. The fates are operated by a "crab," a small electrically operated mechanism that moves from gate to gate on a track. The "crab" contains a wench, to which the chain on each end of the gate is attached. As the wench is activated, teh chain is taken in or let out, and the height of the gate is adjusted accordingly. A steel catwalk, which facilitates inspections and maintenance, 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 northernmost gate, the lift house is reached by the catwalk. 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 whichever gate must be adjusted.
Bibliographic References:(A) Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers, 1932: Extract - Report Upon the Improvement of Rivers and Harbors in the Milwaukee, Wis., District (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1932), 1373.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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