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Historic Pride

Historic Pride

The first permanent settler in the region was Armstead Runyon, who built a homestead on the north side of town along Fiddyment Creek in 1830. This settlement grew to be called Runyonstown. Colonel William B. Archer and an assistant laid out the village plan a year after Runyonstown came into being. In 1836, enterprising representatives from the Illinois and Michigan Canal Commission established a headquarters for the construction of the new Illinois & Michigan Canal. This building is now the Illinois & Michigan Canal Museum at 803 S. State Street. This National Historic Landmark functioned as canal headquarters following its construction in 1837, and an 1876 Victorian addition served as a residence for the canal superintendent. Residents at the headquarters witnessed more than 10 million tons of commercial goods that flowed through the canal during its 62 years of operation. The building’s reputation was such that it was second in importance only to the Illinois State Capitol.

History in Lockport il

Upon the canal’s completion and subsequent opening on April 16, 1848, business and industry throughout the region boomed. Settlers and traders to the Midwest came by way of the Erie Canal, the Great Lakes and the Illinois & Michigan Canal, which was the first navigable link to the Mississippi River. Commerce at Lockport made it a bustling, vigorous town. Dozens of flourmills, grain warehouses, lake boats, stone barges, boatyards and canal offices were constructed along the canal.

On February 12, 1853, a special act of state legislature approved the incorporation of the village of Lockport. The first board of trustees was soon elected, and the town began to grow at a steady pace. Lockport was eventually incorporated as a city in 1904.

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