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Beaver Island and the River

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Among the numerous interesting things in Clinton’s past are things which have to do with the river. I'm G. Herrity and I'll tell you about a few in a minute.


The river has always played an important part of out history. Elijah Buell settled Lyons by coming up the river and the sawmills provided for our early growth. The history of the river even goes back into the 1600’s when Marquette and Joliet paddled by our shores as they explored the region.

Clinton has the widest spot on the entire Mississippi River at Eagle Point Park and Beaver Island is the largest island. Back in 1842 we had the famous “Beaver Island War,” It seems that some Clinton and Albany residents were feuding over the Hunting Rights to the Island. It has long been a wildlife haven to be treasured. People showed up for the war armed with rifles, pitchforks and clubs, but saner heads prevailed and a compromise was decided upon. At one time. there were hundreds of inhabitants on the Island and it had a school, store, and many homes. The fishing was terrific!

In the Depression years of the 1930’s, the work progress administration put men to work on public projects like the Riverfront Ballpark, The Towers, Eagle Point Lodge, and the Dam. Lock and Dam #13 was built then and provided the final depth of the river at a 9 foot channel. The gradual increase of the depth from 3 to 4 and half to 9’ took fifty years to accomplish! Why in Sam Clement's time, as a boy, he worked on riverboats & one of his jobs was “marking the twains” between unseen, underwater sand bars, so shallow was the river in places. Later, of course, he took his pen name from that experience.


Next time we’ll do more exploring of our past as we look into the tree-lined streets and the great homes of our millionaires.

On to Tree-Lined Boulevards


Many of Gary's photos are from his slide presentation.  If you would like more information regarding the original photo, please email Gary at .  He would also welcome your questions, comments or suggestions.

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