La Salle County IL News
Canal News

 Steam Packets on the Canal
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, March 26, 1847
We understand that a company is in progress of organizing form the Illinois and Michigan Canal a line of iron packets to be propelled by steam. The boats are to be a hundred feet long and of convenient width for comfortable passage boats, intending to run them through to La Salle (about 90 miles) in 12 hours.
We also understand that sufficient arrangements are already made with Messrs. Knapp & Totton, Pittsburgh founders, for these boats and engines, to insure their almost certain adoption. We believe this is the house already employed to build the engines and pumping machinery for supplying the canal with water.
The boilers, engines and paddles are all the invention of an engineer of this city, and from what we have seen of the plans, (although we are no engineer) we cannot but feel great confidence in its success.
It is known that unsuccessful efforts have been made at the east to introduce steam packets on the canals. The invention here alluded to is believe to obviate the difficulties heretofore encountered. - Pittsburgh paper.

Canal Opened
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, April 27, 1847
Canal Open
The canal may at length be considered as again fairly open. The packets commenced running on Saturday; but the break above caused a slight interruption until Wednesday when they started again in good earnest. Three packets pass along both ways each day. They make a trip in 2ohours and so far as comfort, convenience, &c., are concerned, we believe the packets on our canal are equal to any watercraft afloat. A regular line of steamboats on the Illinois river is running in connection with the canal packets so that there is no occasion for a moment's delay at La Salle, in traveling either way. Freight boats, &c., are also crowding into the channel, and already there is unwanted bustle and activity among our forwarders and boatmen.

Breach in the Canal
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, April 27, 1847
Quite a serious breach in the canal bank occurred a few days since, near Morris, Grundy county. About sixty feet of the embankment were torn away. It is, however, sufficiently repaired again to enable boats to pass.

Breach in the Canal
The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, December 8, 1848
Quite a serious breach occurred in the canal in this place on Wednesday. It occurred about midway between the La Salle street bridge and the mouth of the Fox River Feeder, taking away some 80 feet of the bank down to the bottom of the canal. The rush of water in consequence submerged everything between the feeder and Fox River, doing considerable damage. At Walker & Hickling's lumber yard and warehouse, and at Cushman & Smith's and Erwin's yards and warehouses there were at least two feet of water, rushing with a strong current towards the aqueduct. Had the breach occurred in the night there is no telling how much damage might have been done, but as it was, the water was immediately drawn off by the lock below, and by knocking out a plank or two at the aqueduct, so that in a short time the flood subsided and the dry land once more appeared.


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