This photograph of the first dam across the St. Joseph River was taken in 1867-1868 looking west downstream. It shows the construction of the dam using trees stripped of limbs and placed with the tops pointing upstream. Sand, gravel and rocks were used to weigh down the structure and fill in the gaps. The group financing this project paid area farmers for their trees and rocks that the farmers were already clearing from their land. The design was adequate until freshnets caused washouts making frequent repairs necessary. This structure was maintained and used until the construction of the present dam which began in 1910 was completed. It was located to the east of where the Johnson Street dam and bridge are currently.
Elkhart Public Library
No Copyright - United States;
Elkhart County (Ind.)
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