It's a video that traveled a long way to come back home, and you can see footage from the 1934 construction of Lock and Dam 15 in a special "How to Build a Dam" program at the Rock Island Public Library.
The video on the construction of Lock and Dam #15 started its journey in Chatham, IL, where it was donated to the Chatham Area Public Library District. The Springfield-area library district rightly concluded that the content would be more meaningful to Rock Island, and offered it to the Rock Island Public Library.
Rock Island agreed that The Mississippi – River of Life was of great local interest, and will show the 2008 Army Corps of Engineers production at a free public program, “’How to Build a Dam: The Construction of Lock & Dam #15 at Rock Island” at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, October 23, at the Rock Island Downtown Library, 401 19th Street.
The video includes original 1934 footage of the construction of Lock & Dam 15, along with a second part describing the navigation systems of the upper Mississippi.Rock Island Reference Librarian James Shearouse has seen the video, and notes that it carries the viewer from the beginning of the Lock & Dam to its completion. “We’re able to see how workers using construction methods of the 1920s and early 1930s pulled off this amazing feat of building this durable structure in the middle of the Mississippi,” he said
This second part of the video describes how the locks work, how barges go through them, how lengthy barges manage the process, and what happens with spring flooding. “To our knowledge, none of the other libraries in the PrairieCat system have a copy of this video. The nature of the subject and the original footage make it a timeless addition to our special collections area. We are fortunate that the Chatham Area Public Library thought of us,” added Shearouse.
The event is free and open to all ages with an interest in the subject.