Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Highland Park and Red Mill
Highland Park and Red Mill
TitleHighland Park and Red Mill
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
DescriptionDrawing by Adele Fay Williams of Highland Park in Joliet, Illinois with Red Mill seen in the distance. The Highland Park Dam is now Pilcher Park. - Donated by Katherine Woodruff Barnes
Title of ArticleOld creek is link to early days of Joliet : dam at Highland Park one of few reminders of pioneer times.
Date of ArticleFebruary 21, 1926
Transcript of the ArticleFrom Joliet Herald-News Sunday February 21, 1926 -

"This picturesque old dam in Hickory creek in Highland is one of the few reminders of pioneer Joliet.
While this particular structure was built only about 40 or so years ago, it takes the place of a series of log dams that were built, one after another, as far back as 1839.
But it was the first stone dam built in the hallowed shade of the old red mill, where the waters flowed over it calmly and quietly more or less until the freshet 1901.
Old Joliet people-and young ones, too, get a thrill every time they wander by the old dam and watch the trickle of water over its mossy stones or view its broad expanse of water just above it.
When Creek Ran Away.
But that was nothing to the thrill felt by all Joliet on June 3, 1901, when suddenly the temperamental creek took the bit in its teeth and ran quite away, tearing over the down town streets, and all because of a cloudburst following a terrific rain fall over the entire region.
And after that deluge!
The boiling waters of the flood raging over the stones of the dam, tore out both ends, but left the center intact.
The waters spent its fury in a few hours but the damage remained.
When the dam was repaired, H.N. Higinbotham, the owner of the property in the region, added the heavy abutments at each end and made the dam fully one third longer at the north.
There was an old sand pit and a large ice house at this end wherin was stored Joliet's ice supply, cut from the sparkling ice of the creek.
The Old Ice House.
The ice house was burned about 1900. There was also an ‘old swimmin' hole' where the boys of the neighborhood learned to swim. And at one time there was another dam with a lock about a quarter mile east of the Cherry Hill Dam.
And it was possible to paddle your light canoe quite comfortably on a broad stretch of water dotted with green islands, between Gougar's and Cherry Hill.
It must have been a beautiful spot, even now it is beautiful. It has charm even when the broad upper basin is covered with ice, and the bare trees in the bed of the stream wave their arms in lonely seclusion. Once the woods were thick all over the region, but now the groves are thin.
The logs that form a spikey girdle on the dam's outline are put there with a purpose. Anchored at one end they protect the edge of the dam when the ice breaks up in the spring and big ice floes smash over it in the annual freshet.
A Community Enterprise.
Just now industrious boys of Ridgewood and Cherry Hill occupy themselves from time to time in cleaning the snow off the ice above the dam, to make it fit for skating.
A regular community enterprise it is, where certain boys work regularly, in the most surprising way to have a nice place where everyone can skate.
Earlier in the season they worked hard to make lanterns by which the crowd could skate at night.
And they succeeded fairly well too, altho it was a little dusky in spots.
You can see a few of them at the left of the sketch, working like beavers with a home made snow shovel.
Roy Munson, high school graduate, and former newsboy of the Herald-News, is one of this energetic band.
And there are others of all ages who take a hand. There is Frank Galli, George Wheeler and Walter Swanson, who wield the shovel often. And there is Clinton G. Flynn, very youthful, and Kenneth Woods, Leo and Fred Kurtz.
Older ones are Benny Hamrin, Gordon Swanson, Floyd and Herbert Stutz, Bertil Swanson, and Walter Swanson, all good workers, according to their loyal playmates. They love snow and ice and bare trees and shining water and gray skies as well as any nature lover.
And, by the way, one of ‘em stepped into the shining water the other day, and wet his feet and didn't care a bit."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Highland Park -- Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Red Mill -- Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Pilcher Park -- Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Highland Park Dam -- Joliet (Ill.) -- History
SourceClick on this link to see more historical information on the Joliet area - http://www.lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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