Shattuck, S. F., et. al (ed.) / A history of Neenah
The Cunningham era in perspective, pp. 3-11 ff. PDF (2.8 MB)
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
This image may be copied freely by individuals, educational institutions, and libraries for personal use, research, teaching, or any 'fair use' as defined by U.S. copyright laws. Please include the following statement with any copies you make: 'Photograph courtesy of the Neenah Public Library.'