Eureka Lock and Lock Tender's House

S of Eureka on Fox River, Eureka, Wisconsin

The last lock in operation on the Upper Fox River

Photos 

Entrance

If turning on to Eureka Lock Road wasn't enough direction, this sign makes it pretty obvious.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in June 2017

Map 

Description 

The Eureka Lock was built in 1876, the walls were originally stone but during a rebuild in 1941, the walls were replaced with poured concrete. (The date was stamped into a sidewalk during the pour.) The Army Corps of Engineers closed the waterway to commercial traffic in 1951 and turned the land over to the State of Wisconsin in 1961. In 1958, the Berlin Boat Club petitioned the federal government to keep the lock operational.

The boat club undertook a refurbishing project in 1976 but the DNR ordered it closed in 2003. Once again, the Berlin Boat Club made an effort to save the lock. After raising the necessary $300,000.00 to restore the lock, it reopened in 2012. During the restoration, the gate turnstiles were electrified, making this the only electrically operated lock on the Fox River.

The lock tender's house was built at the same time as the lock and had a new foundation laid under it in 1923. The DNR ordered the house to be demolished in 2009 due to flood damage and excessive mold.

The lock is 200.2' in length and 35' wide. The depth of the canal is about 6 feet and the lift is up to 4' depending on water levels. The accompanying dam has been converted to a fish ladder.

The lock only operates on weekends and holidays. There is no locking fee, however, donations toward upkeep and operation are graciously accepted.

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 29, 1976
Reference number
76000082
Areas of significance
Commerce; Transportation
Level of significance
Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Structure
Historic function
Water-related
Current function
Water-related
Period of significance
1875-1899
Significant year
1876
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 1

Update Log 

  • July 2, 2017: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated listing, added description and added photos

Sources 

  • J.R. Manning - thekitchenguy [at] sbcglobal [dot] net
  • Berlin Boat Club - Website of the group that kept (and keeps) the lock open and operational. More about the lock and history of the Upper Fox River.
  • National Register database - Reference number 76000082