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Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
(1958)

The Cunningham era in perspective,   pp. 3-11 ff. PDF (2.8 MB)


Page 10


A HISTORY OF NEENAH
without cost to the government. Curtis Reed, aided and abetted by
James l)uane Doty, offered to build the lock in the Menasha channel
and pay $5,ooo for the privilege. The lock was, of course, built in
Menasha on the site of a more adequate installation later constructed
by the Federal Engineering Department. Jones and his associates,
not to be denied, went ahead with their lock anyway, the use of which
was short-lived.
  This incident, with its accompanying bitterness, started a train of
unpleasantness, jealousies and tensions between the two communities
that lasted into the early 1940's, when the service clubs, a common
Chamber of Commerce, one newspaper, joint Community Chest and
the friendly gestures of successive high school generations closed the
gap and brought about the cordial and cooperative spirit that now
exists between the Twin Cities.
  When Kimberly-Clark, in 1940, built their new machine room at the
west end of the Badger-Globe mill, they came upon the timbers of the
disused lock begun by Harvey Jones and finished by his friends and
the administrators of his estate.
  We insert at this point Howard B. Palmer's sketch which adds color
and valuable data to the story of our historic waterway:
                     NAVIGAI7ION AT NEENAIH
  The settlement now known as Neenah-Menasha had its origin largely because
of
its strategic location for water transportation. The Indians settled in the
area for
that reason, and the white man followed for the same reason. Thus, water
trans-
portation has always played an important role in the community. Activities
on the
waterfront are today at proportions that probably outshine even those old
"hey-
days" when the great steamer "Leander-Choate" filled the locks
with only inches
to spare and loaded to capacity with excursion crowds on all three of its
decks.
  As the Indians traveled and traded via canoe on the Fox River and Lake
Winne-
bago, so came the white man with his bateau and flat boat bent on pursuing
trade
and travel. As the population and trade increased, the need for simplification
of
navigation hardships grew. Thus, early in the i9th century, came the private
enter-
prise that dammed the river and built locks to remove the drudgery and time
and
cost of portaging around the many rapids.
  This privately owned "toll financed" project continued for a
few years, until it
was absorbed by the Territory of Wisconsin, who later disposed of the endeavor
to
another private company, in existence today, "The Green Bay-Mississippi
Canal
10


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