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I&M Canal

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Scroll down to see photos. For more info on the I&M canal please visit the LaSalle County Historical Museum in Utica IL and also visit Lock 16 visitor center in La Salle and take a boat ride on the historic canal.

The Steam Boat Basin at LaSalle Lock 15 below
The last lock on the I&M taken from RR bridge

Lock Tenders at Lock 15 with RR bridge in view
LaSalle looking Northward

LaSalle Lock 15 looking east
CB&Q RR bridge above and Hwy bridge over Lock 14


Taken in the Split Rock Area 2 mi east of LaSalle
A woman stands upon a packet/passenger boat

Notice barge at a dock
Very early view of Split Rock Area

Building the canal in 1840's

Lock Tender's house near lock 13 by Split Rock

The canal boat in the basin at lock 15 LaSalle IL
David Swain is the name of the Steamboat

LaSalle 1867 with Aqueduct in view plus IC bridge
The photographer DW Dawson is seen at right

The photo below is quite interesting because it shows a railroad track above or north of the double track Rock Island railroad. This track goes on to the roadway as it passes over the Vermilion river and I believe it went to Rockwell. Not sure. But the track comes from the Coal mine of the LaSalle County Carbon coal co which you can see in view in the following picture. The canal is at left. The tracks of the Interurban also went on this roadway crossing over the Interurban but did not begin until 1906. If anyone else has any more info on this  topic please let me know.

View frim IC bridge looking eastward
From the Tom Romanowski collection

The revealing photo below tells us  a whole bunch. The little wooden bridge crossing over the canal has a small narrow gauge track on it to allow small pit cars or railroad cars filled with dirt, slag/shale/rock from the earth to be dumped in a big refuse pile. Those piles and "hills" are still along the canal today just to the right of the I&M canal towpath while you are walking eastward and just before you get to the old ICRR bridge. In the fall/winter when the leaves are off the trees you can still see some of the concrete from the old mine!.
   The little trestle off to the right where the road goes under was used to bring the coal over to the Illinois Central Railroad. The Rock Island Railroad's coal was loaded down below where the string of railroad gondola cars are parked. At one time coal could be loaded into the canal boats too. This was a big operation and the LaSalle County Carbon coal office is still standing on the southwest corner of Union st and 1st st. Look at the east side of the building and see what it reads! 
  The ICRR also had a hill track that joined the Rock Island down below but adjacent to the area of lock 14 in the distance. That track is not visible here but is behind the structure. It curves at the top of the hill just like it does today in 2013. It is simply amazing the track is still in use as of 2013 but used for bringing in cement for the operation in Oglesby.

Great view of LaSalle County Carbon Coal Co
Notice track going up hill near mine. ANother track going up to ICRR yard was behind the mine

Packet boat in lock 13 two miles west of Utica IL
Notice the Blackball mine in background


Marseilles IL on the I&M canal

Ottawa IL on the I&M canal

Lock 13 between LaSalle and Utica
Blackball mine in background


Building the canal near lockport 1840s

Aqueduct in LaSalle IL

Lock 13 with Blackball mine in background
Locktender's house to right

The ole bridge over Lock 14
1981 Road was highway to Oglesby (bottom road) Photo taken from Lock 15 below. Good one Dave!

Ottawa IL Lock on I&M canal

The following three photos were supplied by Larry Byrd. Thank you Larry!

LaSalle looking at lock 15 area
Steamboat basin and CBQ bridge in view

Looking at lock 15 area
Steamboat basin in foreground

Grain Elevator near Lock 14
Grain elevator was right next to Rock Island RR tracks

Special thanks to Charlie Byrd for three photos above.

Painting by Ray Tutaj 2012

The canal in 2012

The "FOUR SEASONS" collage below was a couple years in the making. Getting the winter shot was the most difficult because the sidewalk was usually full of snow.  The summer shot could have been easier. The first one I got a few yrs ago I thought would do but then I realized the Boat was not in the pic so I had to get one with it in view. I also tried to stand in the same exact spot of course and zoom in a little on the Lock 14 and have some of the boat visible. I got a 16 x 20 made up and some 8 x 10's and like the way they came out.

Ray Tutaj Jr
July 7, 2014

Photography by Ray Tutaj Jr.

Photo by Ray Tutaj
LaSalle IL 2010


Canal Scene in 2009 at LaSalle IL
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

View of Lockport on I&M canal

LaSalle IL the Volunteer Canal Boat at Lock 14
Photo by Ray Tutaj Jr

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