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Busse Jim said:
Definitely post worthy.
As a 50 year Illinoisan I keyed on the "four rivers area". Never heard that reference before. Heard Channahon before, drivin by it. Searched and mapped it.

Besides the fish, Lot's of history around that area.
If I had a bucket list, It would be on it.
Nice post!
I've been visiting the Channahon area for over 60 years. In the late 50s-early 60s my dad used to take my older brother & me camping there. There used to be a campground in the main part of the park right by where the big parking lot is now. The park manager lived in a house on Canal St & kept a heard of sheep in a fenced in area by the campground. Still remember the smell.

In those days the only fish we caught were bullheads. The DuPage wasn't anywhere near as clean as it is now. Also, there wasn't a bridge over the weir that holds back the DuPage.

The old towpath was sort of a no-mans-land. My dad would drive us along it in his 1954 Mercury Colony Park from Channahon out to the Aux Sable access point although back then it was just a neat place where the canal crossed the Aux Sable via an aqueduct - no 'access point'. It was cool because we'd spot deer & groundhogs at a time when seeing just about any wildlife was unusual to say the least. Also cool from the perspective of how they solved the problem of having the canal cross a creek that's course was perpendicular to the path of the canal and where it didn't make sense to build locks to raise & lower the boats.

If memory serves the state built the bridge over the weir back in the 80s when they realized what a great recreational resource the towpath is. It got wiped out by either a flood or ice flow in the 90s & was rebuilt.

In the early 1800s there were 2 political parties in Illinois - Democrats & Whigs. Interestingly the Dems didn't support the concept of using public money for infrastructure improvements. They also supported slavery in the South. The Whigs supported public/private partnerships for 'internal improvements'. Many Whigs opposed slavery and in the late 1850s combined with anti-slavery Dems to form the Republican party.

There was a group of Whig legislators in Springfield called the 'Long Nine'. They were called that because they were all over 6' tall and there were 9 of them (duh). They are credited with engineering the politics necessary for the state to fund the building of the I&M canal. It was (going by memory here) completed in 1848 and in spite of competition from railroads continued in use until the 1930s. After that the canal lapsed into disuse until as mentioned above, the 80s when it was reborn as a recreational resource.

BTW - the leader of the Long Nine was the smartest and at 6'4", the tallest. His name was Abe Lincoln.

When Jonny was fishing below the weir he was within 100-200 yds of where Badger & I launched on our adventure a couple weeks ago. The stretch of the DuPage from there to the DPR is really scenic & can probably be fished from shore via the towpath. But better to fish it from a boat. We passed by the Four Rivers area & I have to say it's relatively new - probably within the past 10 years.
 

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One more thing: The upper terminus of the canal was at a spot that became known as Bridgeport. It's where it connected to the south branch of the Chicago River. Yep - right where Chicago's triple-A team plays. :D
 

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badger75 said:
Rambler - keep those history lessons coming.
Badger - glad you appreciate them. As you know, I believe that our experiences in the outdoors are enhanced by our knowledge of nature and history.
 
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