Wisconsin's Maritime Trails: Locks on the Fox: Appleton Lock 3

 © Photographed June 30, 2014
Erected by Fox Locks; The History Museum at the Castle;
Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc.;
Wisconsin Department of Transportation;
Wisconsin Historical Society; and
Sea Grant University of Wisconsin
Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Maritime Trails
Locks on the Fox
Appleton Lock 3

Size: 144' x 35'  Lift: 9.6'
Construction: Quarried stone walls and timber gates
Built 1852-1856. Rebuilt 1900. Rehabilitated 1940.
Closed 1987. Repaired 2006. Reopened 2007.
Filling time: About 4 min.  Emptying time: 2 min. 51 sec.
The Fox River once crashed over waterfalls and surged through rapids, descending 170 feet over 39 miles between Lake Winnebago and Green Bay. Appleton and Kaukauna were founded near especially rough passages and steep drops. In the 1850s, European settlers sought to make the Fox River safe for boat traffic and to harness its power for mills and factories.

That required dams, canals, and locks. Dams regulated the water flow, and canals provided passages around obstacles. Locks were essential where the river dropped steeply. Locks gently lower a boat when it travels downstream or lift it when it goes upstream. 

The state (sic) of Wisconsin put the Fox River Improvement Company in charge of the construction work in 1853. By 1856, the company had built locks along the entire river, making it navigable from Menasha to DePere. These changes further increased the Fox River's importance as a transportation corridor.

Today, the locks on the Lower Fox River operate with the same technology first used more than 150 years ago; human power and gravity. Valves in the lock chambers are opened and closed by hand, and gravity empties or fills the chambers with water. No pumps or electricity are needed.
The marker is located next to a parking lot at Appleton Lock 3, at the northeast corner of the intersection of South Lewis Street and East Newberry Street, Appleton, Wisconsin 54915.

NOTE: The entrance to the parking lot is on East Newberry Street.

Fox Locks

The History Museum at the Castle 

This marker is included in Wisconsin's Maritime Trails: Historical Markers series.

 The lock is surrounded by a fence and inaccessible.
Looking east down the Fox River.

 Looking towards the west end of the lock.

 Kinda cool map!

 Pretty scenery east of the east end of the lock.

 The east end of the lock.

 Looking east at the west end of the lock from the South Lewis Street bridge.

Plenty of parking at this marker's location!

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