Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Institute For Environmental Studies
Available now! A new book by Dr. Bill Griffin,WIU Professor Emeritus in Geography
Voices of the Hennepin Canal: Promoters, Politicians, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a 428-page historical account that begins in the 1830s with the start of surveys of canal-river routes to Lake Michigan and the East, the post war period of railroad expansion into the Midwest, the rise of farmer organizations, and the prolonged partisan debates in Congress on building the canal.
Subsequently, the geographic focus is on surveys to determine the best route for the canal’s main line and feeder, and the 18-year period of construction. Finally, an in depth look at canal operations, including annual routine maintenance, repairs of the locks and dams, and the constant patrolling of the canal and feeder to look for potential breaks in the prism banks, is provided.