Dams in Rockford, part2

By September 1851, the Rockford Forum was reporting that a new company had been formed, with capital of $10,000. The new dam would be built on the ford which gave Rockford its name.  The Forum reported that it was to be built ” with two walls of solid timber-work twelve inches thick, twelve feet apart, extending across the river…tied together, and the spaces filled with loose stone…seven feet high.” (Sept. 3, 1851). In November 1852, the Rock River Democrat reported that the river was 800 feet wide where the dam was...

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Dams in Rockford, part 1

In 1841, early citizens of Rockford wanted to harness the power of the river.  February 28, 1843, the Rockford Hyraulic and Manufacturing Company was incorporated to build the first dam across the river. This first dam was located about where the Jefferson Street Bridge is today. In his Reminiscences…of Early Days in Rockford, John H. Thurston said, “On the east side at the location of the dam, the water for two-thirds the width of the stream, was about waist deep in summer, with eight to nine feet in the channel…Had it been...

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