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LaSalle Canal Boat and Lock 16

The I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor is a place to explore nature, learn about the region's past and enjoy a wealth of cultural attractions. It has had a long and illustrious history, beginning with the Native Americans who inhabited the region for millennia, to the immigrants who started new lives on the frontier, to the millions who live and work here today. The I&M Canal propelled Chicago and the surrounding communities into national significance, and it was a major factor in the growth and development of the Midwest.

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LaSalle Canal Boat and Lock 16

 

William Gooding (1803-1878)

 

William Gooding served as chief engineer on the I&M Canal from 1836-1848. Born in Bristol, New York, Gooding worked as an engineer on the Wabash and Erie Canal and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. An advocate of water power, Gooding championed the idea of building a hydraulic basin at Lockport. His salary of $3,500 per year, the largest in state government at the time, caused considerable jealousy, and in 1848 Gooding was fired by the Governor. Later that year he was appointed Secretary of the Canal Commission, and he remained involved with the I&M until 1871.

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