In This Issue

  • CCA President's Note

  • High School Photography Exhibit

  • Canal Celebrations - Old & New

  • Upcoming Events

Volunteers Wanted

Here's a great volunteer opportunity for fans of the Gaylord Building. We're looking for people to help staff the front desk. Its a great opportunity to share your love of this historic site with visitors. Hours are flexible. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Pat Chinderle, 815.588.1100, or


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Are You a Member?

Are you a member of Canal Corridor Association?  If not, consider joining today.  Memberships begin at just $35 per year, with discounts for multi-year memberships. Your gift will both provide fun CCA member benefits AND help build an exciting future for a region that brings to life a rich and vibrant past. Membership forms are available online.


If you are a member, thank you.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve the membership experience.


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Canal Corridor Association is a membership organization that preserves history, protects nature and open space, and creates destinations where people can learn and have fun in the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, from Lake Michigan in Chicago to the Illinois River in LaSalle/Peru. It enhances, raises awareness of and expands the parks, trails, landscape and historic sites that make the I&M Canal region a special place. CCA manages the Gaylord Building, a National Trust Historic Site, in Lockport, Illinois. One of the oldest industrial buildings in the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, the Gaylord Building is a model of adaptive reuse, featuring the Public Landing restaurant, canal exhibits and more.

CCA President's Note


Dear Friends,

CCA continues to feel the impacts of the delay in Congressional reauthorization of the Heritage Corridor and the federal funding associated with it. While we have been trimming our operations, we are at a point where we unfortunately have had to make some staff reductions as well. To further reduce expenses, we have eliminated two staff positions and reduced two more positions to part-time status.

 I am especially sorry to report that long-time program director Laurie Scott has been affected by the cuts.  Her last day with CCA will be July 11th. Please join me and the board of directors in wishing her all the best and thanking her for all that she has done over the years to help raise the profile of the I&M Canal.

 We are still exploring how we might be able to sustain our programs, albeit at a reduced level, until the federal funding is available. We may need to suspend one or more programs in the interim.

 Another cost-cutting measure we are taking is to close our Chicago office, effective July 1. The change signals the end of an era of sorts, since CCA had its beginnings in Chicago. But we are also looking forward to concentrating our operations in Lockport, where the canal commissioners were once headquartered.

 If you haven’t done so already, please contact Senators Durbin and Obama and your Congressman to voice your support of reauthorizing and funding the Heritage Corridor. For contact information, go to:


Sincerely ,

Ana B. Koval

President & CEO


High School Photography Exhibit Opens at the Gaylord Building


In June a new exhibit opened at the Gaylord Building in Lockport.  Entitled “A Disappearing View: Family Farms in Will County,” the exhibit showcases photographs taken by Lockport high school students at farms in Will County.  The exhibit is on an open run at the Gaylord Building.


Jointly organized by the Canal Corridor Association and the Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery in coordination with the Lockport Township High School Fine Arts Department, the exhibit was created in conjunction with the Lockport Gallery’s current show, “A Family Farm: The Photographs of Frank Sadorus.”


The Canal Corridor Association recruited Stuart Pearson, a professional photographer, to select three pieces for special recognition.  On June 1st Ana Koval, President of the Canal Corridor Association, awarded three students $50 cash prizes.  The winners were: Beth Arvin - Technical Merit; Katie Manning - Artistic Merit; and Miranda Gothard - Best in Show.  Congratulations to all of the students who participated in this exciting project!

Pictured from left to right are Stuart Pearson, Miranda Gothard and Geoff Bates from the Illinois State Museum.








Canal Fact

In the 1830s Lockport, headquarters of the Canal Commissioners, had hopes of surpassing Chicago.  The former headquarters building now houses the Will County Historical Society's museum.


Canal Celebrations - Old and New

Lockport celebrated Canal Days this past weekend, which we hope was a safe and memorable event for all.  The very first canal celebration, however, turned into a riot.   

The groundbreaking for the construction of the I&M Canal took place at Bridgeport (then a separate town) on the 4th of July in 1836.  A great deal has been written about what transpired that day, and sorting out fact from fiction is no easy task.  We do know that Canal Commissioners Gurdon Hubbard and William B. Archer gave speeches celebrating the commencement of canal construction.  Hubbard had first arrived in Chicago in 1818, and he noted the sharp contrast between the “uninhabited waste” that was Chicago in those days with the prosperous little village of the present day.  (Chicago was not incorporated as a city until 1837.)  After partaking of some refreshments the party boarded a steamer back to Chicago, but they were soon “assailed by a small corps of Irishmen, who stationing themselves at the stone quarry on the banks of the river, showered full vollies [sic] of stones amidst the thick crowd of ladies and gentlemen on the upper deck.  The order was immediately given ‘to land.’  Some fifty passengers leaped ashore, some with bludgeons. . . The assailants were soon led, covered with blood and wounds captive to the boat, where they were safely lodged in the hold, and brought into town.”  

Another eyewitness, John L. Wilson, stated that “a squad of men on the banks of the narrow river, without any cause, began throwing stones into the steamer, breaking the cabin windows, and injuring one or two ladies, and keeping up the fusillade until a detachment of a dozen or more ‘old settlers’ jumped ashore (or rather, into the shallow water), and charged among them.”  Gurdon Hubbard, Mark Beaubien, and John H. Kinzie were among those coming to the rescue.  “The weapons used were only those brought into action in the ‘manly art of self-defense,’ but they proved exceedingly efficient,” remarked Wilson years later. The altercation resulted in “a number of broken heads and bloody noses.  Thus was the Fourth of July celebrated by the Chicagoans.”

Upcoming Events

Here is a sampling of events happening in the corridor.  For a more complete listing of summer events, visit the eNews Calendar.  Don't see your event listed here?  Please send it to


Wednesday-Sunday, June 22-26, Carbon Hill Homecoming

This annual celebration of Carbon Hill heritage features live music, weekend outdoor crafts and flea market, a baseball tournament and carnival.  The Carbon Hill School Museum will be open during the festival with a full program of speakers and displays.  For further information contact Michele Micetich, 815.634.4213.

Sunday, June 26--Joliet Iron Works Tour, Joliet

Joliet, aka the City of Stone and Steel, got its nickname from the raw materials surrounding it.  You can walk in the workers footsteps at this archeological site.  The tour, 9 to 11 am, will reveal the workers' challenging lives as well as the mills' technology between 1870 and 1940, the prime time for Joliet's iron making industry.  For further information call 815.727.8700.

Monday, July 4--4th of July Metric Bike Ride, Joliet

Join the Joliet Bicycle Club for this annual holiday ride.  With marked routes for 30, 45 and 62 mile rides there is something for everyone.  For further information visit


Friday-Sunday, July 8-10--Starved Rock Days, Utica

The summer festival season continues!  Come join the fun including a carnival, crafters, beer garden, music DJ, live bands and dancing.  Presented by the Utica Special Events Committee.


Saturday, July 9--Heritage Fest, Lemont

Head to downtown Lemont for a street festival in a historic canal town.  Enjoy Food, music, entertainment, children’s activities and family fun.  For further information call 630.257.1550.


Saturday, July 9--Green Technology Tour, Sugar Creek Administration Center, Joliet

Through the use of select materials and the latest design and technology, Will County Forest Preserve's new Sugar Creek Administration Center serves as a model of environmentally-friendly architecture.  On the tour you'll view innovative technologies used in the building, understand why "green" is better for humans and the rest of the world, and take home practical tips on how to be more environmentally-friendly in your house.  10 am to noon.  For further information call 815.727.8700.


Thursday-Saturday, July 21-23--Waterway Daze, Joliet

Celebrate the I&M Canal in Joliet at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park with music, food, fireworks and a lighted boat parade.  For further information call 815.724.3760.