Dam 48 was most most likely the biggest building undertaking Henderson County had ever viewed up till 1921 and it took a quarter-century for it to appear to fruition.
Alongside the way there have been two different development providers, which experienced to contend with a gigantic flood, cofferdam failures, ice gorges, labor problems and other setbacks. Like Earth War I.
In 1974 Leland R. Johnson wrote a historical past of the Louisville District of the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers called The Falls Metropolis Engineers. This is what he experienced to say about Dam 48, which was positioned 5.7 miles downriver from Henderson.
“Shifting sand foundations, recurrent flooding of cofferdams, brief operating seasons, and other issues so delayed construction that abandoning the slackwater challenge below Lock and Dam No. 48 was thought of. Handful of contractors were hardy, or ‘foolhardy,’ more than enough to undertake the assignments beneath Louisville,” which lacked a rock or compacted gravel base to make on.
Funding for the dam was announced in The Gleaner of June 15, 1910, which mentioned it had taken 15 yrs of advocacy to get the dollars. A March 7, 1912, Gleaner short article, published when operate on the dam was having under way, mentioned that project was “one matter that adult males who have very long been in the cemeteries of numerous Ohio River cities have toiled and prayed for.”
(By the time the canalization of the Ohio River was completed in 1929, Dam 48 was a person of 51 dams that delivered at the very least a nine-foot river depth through low water. Barge traffic skyrocketed immediately after that was carried out.)
The Ohio River Deal Co. of Evansville experienced been the only bidder on the job, The Gleaner claimed Sept. 8, 1911, and technical specs known as for it to be completed in 5 years at a expense of $1.4 million. (It took almost 10 years at a price of about $3 million. It was nearing completion at the close of 1921.)
The project was seriously damaged by the in close proximity to-report flood of 1913, which struck in late March. A couple months afterwards, on July 21, 1913, about 200 ft of cofferdam tore unfastened, flooding the development space.
The 30-foot-tall cofferdam created of wooden pilings was a momentary framework that held back the h2o even though development of the long lasting dam took place. A increasing river brought about about a fifth of the down-river side to are unsuccessful about 7 a.m. but no just one was damage.
Amongst the tools destroyed were two lumber barges, 4 coal barges, a houseboat, two gasoline launches, four pile drivers, a steam derrick (what we would phone a crane) and 4 pressure pumps, according to The Gleaner of July 22.
The Ohio River Agreement Co. developed the locks on the Indiana facet of the dam, but it relinquished its contract in 1915 and the McArthur-Hanger Agreement Co. of Evansville completed the position. But that agency also experienced its share of complications.
Environment War I brought on a scarcity of adult men and components, and what materials ended up offered significantly elevated in price. And then there was the winter season of 1917-18, which froze the river. The Gleaner of Feb. 5, 1918, noted that an ice gorge piled 15 to 20 toes high destroyed four of the dam contractor’s boats when it swept previous.
The harm apparently was worse, judging from a Feb. 15, 1918, tale in the Evansville Courier and Press. That report claimed Capt. Henry January experienced been sent down the river to try out to get well far more than a dozen watercraft that had been swept down. He succeeded in rescuing a pile driver, but a gasoline start and various other pieces of gear were viewed heading downriver from Cairo, Illinois.
A quick tale in The Gleaner of Aug. 13, 1921, reported the dam was anticipated to be done by Nov. 1 “after 10 several years of mishaps and delays.” A a lot more comprehensive tale appeared in the Sunday version of Aug. 28, which in-depth how the locks labored and the issues in setting up the dam.
Sand from the riverbed had to be pumped out and “a solid row of metal pillows had been driven across the total riverbed 40 feet in the sand.” 5 rows of wooden pilings set up ended up just behind the pillows, bolstered by cribs stuffed with rock. The dam was developed atop that composition.
Boats utilized the locks only for the duration of periods of minimal drinking water. Most of the time they utilised what was termed the “navigable move,” which was developed with two movable sections of the dam. That equipment was operated by compressed air and was the only one of its form on the Ohio River.
The Gleaner of Oct. 25, 1921, reported, “The very last bucket of concrete was poured into the dam Sunday (Oct. 23) afternoon at 3 o’clock, though the males cheered and the whistles blew a happy detect of victory.” Construction had been accomplished “under situations that would pretty much discourage the stoutest coronary heart.”
The determination took location Nov. 15, 1921, according to the following day’s Gleaner. “It was a grand triumph of dam development,” the story mentioned, estimating the group at 5,000.
Mrs. G.H. Pingley of Evansville christened the composition by pouring a bottle of water on it. But it wasn’t just any outdated h2o. It was a mixture of samples taken from each inland waterway in North The usa, as very well as the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. “She dropped the bottle on the concrete floor and the dedication was finish.”
About the exact same time a non permanent local community known as Damtown was remaining taken apart. “The do the job of dismantling is going on and there will be nothing at all still left but the four brick residences erected by the authorities for the guys who will run the dam,” explained The Gleaner of Nov. 12, 1921.
It had been rather the likely concern, with a h2o program that provided filtered water quite a few several years in advance of Henderson had one particular. “In 1912 a city was designed up virtually in a night in which corn tassels waved and wild cucumber vines ran over the ground without having interference. Almost in the twinkling of an eye it turned a lively little town, with electric powered lights, various company residences and numerous residences.” The only remnant is Dam 48 Highway, which begins at Geneva and heads toward the river.
Dam 48 sounded the death knell for just one of Henderson County’s far more major parts of heritage. Just upstream of Dam 48, at the foot of Henderson Island, Significant Stephen H. Extensive of the forerunner to the Military Corps of Engineers had by September 1825 finished what is now deemed the to start with dam ever developed by the federal authorities. Jutting from the Indiana shore at a 45-diploma angle, it was two rows of 1,400 wooden piles driven in 16 feet, which have been tied with each other and stuffed with brush.
The purpose of the wing dam was to cut down the sandbar there and improve the height of the river. It served as a prototype for several others through the inland river system and needed no substantial repairs right up until 1872, when it was lengthened. That enhancement commenced washing out the Kentucky shoreline and at some point designed Deadman’s Island.
Dam 48 grew to become out of date in 1975 by what is now referred to as the John T. Myers Lock and Dam at Uniontown.
75 Decades Ago
Ed Brown, url in a chain of blacksmiths that began all through slavery times, died in New York Town, in which he had gone to search for professional medical treatment method, in accordance to The Gleaner of Aug. 27, 1946.
His father, Mike Brown, experienced set up a blacksmith store at 422 First St. in 1866. Ed Brown took about when bad well being forced his father to move apart and stayed at the position for about 60 decades. His son, Sneed Brown, stored the store open up right up until 1959.
50 Several years Back
The historic bell at Initially Missionary Baptist Church was taken down from the bell tower due to the fact of issues an earthquake could lead to it to fall, in accordance to The Gleaner of Sept. 3, 1971.
Rev. John H. Rouse explained some associates experienced expressed worry soon after the 1968 earthquake that broken Town Corridor.
“We had been fearful even to ring the bell simply because of what the vibrations may possibly do to the tower composition,” he stated. “At to start with we assumed we would have to consider it out by the top of the tower, but rather (contractors) reduce holes in two floors and reduced the bell by means of a block and tackle.”
The bell, which was forged by the Buckeye Bell Foundry of Cincinnati in 1872, is at present mounted just to the still left of the church’s entrance doorway.
25 Many years In the past
Henderson’s magical operate to the championship match in the Bambino World Collection finished with a 9- reduction to the workforce from Oakland, California, in accordance to The Gleaner of Aug. 18, 1996.
It was the 2nd time Henderson experienced hosted the series the very first time experienced been in 1994.
Frank Boyett can be achieved at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BoyettFrank.