Illinois and Michigan Canal

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I and M Canal Channahon, IL
I and M Canal and DuPage River Confluence
Channahon, Illinois

Chicago's growth and importance in America can be traced back to the building and opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848. Following more than a decade of work digging and blasting, the canal became the main mode of transport from Chicago to the rest of the world. Connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River, and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico, goods could finally be moved by water from world markets directly to Chicago.

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Lock Six
Lock 6 and the Lock Tender's Home
Channahon, IL

A series of locks raised and lowered the water level appropriately so canal boats could navigate both upstream and down. The boats were pulled by mules and sometimes horses along a parallel towpath, parts of which still exist today and are used as the I and M Canal trail for hiking and cycling.

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Lock Seven
View from Lock 7
Channahon, IL

The locks were created out of Limestone hand-quarried from Lemont, IL. Most of the locks are still visible today in some form or another, but only a few can still show us exactly how the locks worked.

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