Starved Rock Lock and Dam Historic District

Also known as: Lock and Dam 6
950 N 27th Rd., Ottawa, Illinois


Starved Rock Dam

Looking north fron Starved Rock

Photo taken by Jim Allen in April 2011




Starved Rock Lock and Dam consists of a 1,310' straight-crested, reinforced-concrete gravity dam and a 110' x 600' Ohio River Standard lock with horizontally framed miter gates. A 518' headgate section and a 714' controlled spillway make up the dam, which ranges in height from 21' to 31' above the riverbed. Starved Rock is the southernmost facility in the original Illinois Waterway, which linked the Great Lakes to the lower reaches of the Illinois River and ultimately to the Gulf of Mexico. The waterway substantially increased the level of waterborne commercial traffic through the heart of the country. -- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER IL-127)

The Illinois Waterway Visitor Center is located on the north shore and has displays of how the locks and dam work. Second floor outdoor viewing deck over looks the lock chamber.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 2004
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Lock and Dam
Areas of significance
Transportation; Maritime History; Engineering
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Contributing structures: 2
Non-contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • January 19, 2018: New photos from GS
  • November 26, 2015: New photo from GS
  • October 26, 2015: New photos from GS
  • July 27, 2015: New photos from GS
  • July 11, 2015: New photos from GS
  • September 27, 2013: New photo from Jim Allen

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