Living River

Photographed April 16, 2015
Kaukauna, Outagamie County, Wisconsin
Google Map

LIVING river
The Fox River was an important waterway throughout the history of this region and especially for the city of Kaukauna.

Long before European settlers dropped their paddles into the Fox, local American Indians living near the river fished its waters and used it for transportation.

From the 1600s through the 1830s, furs and other supplies were carried by birch-bark canoe and bateaux, a flat bottomed plank boat.

As the fur trade ended, bigger loads were carried by Durham boats. Up to 60 feet long and 12 feet wide, they could carry ip to 30 tons of goods. These heavily laden boats were pushed to Green Bay using long poles.

By the late 1850s, six steamers regularly traveled between Green Bay and Kaukauna, bringing supplies for the growing area. The navigational canal, completed in 1851, made the trip easier for larger boats. Eventually barges took over and were used until 1959. Today only pleasure craft travel the river.
"A smart ride of half an hour brought us to
Kaukaulin, of which everybody knows about,
or ought to know, long since -- famed for
beauty, prominence and bountiful hospitality."
John Lowe from the Green Bay Advocate, September 6, 1849

NOTE: This is a two-sided marker (see below).

The marker is located at Thilwerth Park on northbound Canal Street, just north of its intersection with Catherine Street / Taylor Street, Kaukauna, Wisconsin 54130.

These markers are also at this location:

This postcard image from the mid-1900s shows a steamer entering the locks in Kaukauna. Birch-bark canoes, bateaux, [sic] (a plant boat built by the French), [sic] Durham boats and barges have used the Fox River as a water highway.
The logging industry used the river to transport resources and encouraged settlements along the way.

The other side other side of the marker (above and below).

LIVING river
"The Fox River is certainly a fine stream, and
hearafter will be one of great consequence when
the rapids and falls are cut down."
From A Merry Briton in Pioneer
Wisconsin published in London, 1842

With the parking lot (up the hill to the right) and the
 Kaukauna Veterans Memorial Bridge (to the left) in the background.

There is plenty of parking on Canal Street to access the marker.

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