The Locks / Kaukauna

Lock 1

signage_kaukauna1There are five locks in Kaukauna because this is the the Fox River’s most steep drop in elevation—so steep the river powers a hydroelectric plant. All five locks are scheduled for full operation in 2017, but many of the area’s amenities are accessible at or around the locks.

The area was discovered in 1634 and called KaKalin Falls by the Native Americans; for the next several decades, the area was known as Grand KaKalin. Now, The Gran KaKalin is a riverfront development of the old Eagle Mill which will include the new public library and Expera Specialty Solutions.

Renovation of Lock 1 was done to maintain the historic construction. Crews took the lock apart stone by stone—each limestone slab weighed about 6,000 pounds. Renovation was completed in 2015 and the Fox River Navigational System Authority is awaiting repairs to the main bridge in Kaukauna for full navigation of the Kaukauna locks. 

General Information

Latitude: 44.28235
Longitude: -88.26215
Opened Date: 1856
Rebuilt Date: 1880-1920, 2014
Construction: Quarry stone masonry, concrete caps, wood gates

Lock Dimensions

144 feet x 35 feet
Sill Depth - 6 feet
Lift - 10.3 feet

Hours of Operation

Kaukauna locks 1-5 are scheduled for operation in 2017

Location

Lock 2

signage_kaukauna2This lock overlooks the massive footprint of the Thilmany Mill owned by Expera Specialty Solutions. There has been a paper mill in Kaukauna for more than 130 years. 

General Information

Latitude: 44.28265
Longitude: -88.25856
Opened Date: 1856
Rebuilt Date: 1903, 2013
Construction: Quarry stone masonry, concrete caps, wood gates

Lock Dimensions

144 feet x 35 feet
Sill Depth - 6 feet
Lift - 9.6 feet

Hours of Operation

Kaukauna locks 1-5 are scheduled for operation in 2017

Location

Lock 3

signage_kaukauna3Lock 3 is the lock nearest to our administrative offices. This lock features a dry dock location which was in use by the Army Corps of Engineers when the U.S. government operated the locks. The dry dock is currently being refurbished for public use and is scheduled for opening in 2017.

General Information

Latitude: 44.2835
Longitude: -88.25594
Opened Date: 1856
Rebuilt Date: 1880, 2012
Construction: Quarry stone masonry, concrete caps, wood gates

Lock Dimensions

144 feet x 35 feet
Sill Depth - 6 feet
Lift - 10.2 feet

Hours of Operation

Kaukauna locks 1-5 are scheduled for operation in 2017

Location

Lock 4

signage_kaukauna4_newThe Grignon Mansion is within walking distance of the lock and is a national and state historic site. This Greek Revival home has been restored to the time period of 1837 when it was built by Charles A. Grignon for his new bride. The home was called the “Mansion in the Woods” and was an elegant escape from the life of a fur trader. Tours are available early May through Labor Day.

General Information

Latitude: 44.28451
Longitude: -88.25286
Opened Date: 1856
Rebuilt Date: 1880, 2011
Construction: Quarry stone masonry, concrete caps, wood gates

Lock Dimensions

144 feet x 35 feet
Sill Depth - 6 feet
Lift - 10.2 feet

Hours of Operation

Kaukauna locks 1-5 are scheduled for operation in 2017

Location

Lock 5

signage_kaukauna5This is perhaps the most historic and the last of the Kaukauna Locks. The construction materials in this lock are stacked stone rubble and are original to the 1850s. For more than 150 years, this construction has withstood weather, storms and regular use. When the locks were restored in 2015, construction crews lined the lock with wood timbers to protect the stone construction (and the boats using the lock). If you are interested in this construction, visit the Little Chute lock where the historic construction materials may be viewed.

General Information

Latitude: 44.28681
Longitude: -88.24663
Opened Date: 1856
Rebuilt Date: 2012
Construction: Quarry stone masonry, concrete caps, wood gates

Lock Dimensions

144 feet x 35 feet
Sill Depth - 6 feet
Lift - 10.3 feet

Hours of Operation

Kaukauna locks 1-5 are scheduled for operation in 2017

Location