Saturday, April 7, 2012

Falls of the Ohio and McAlpine Locks & Dam

As I stood adjacent to the office at the Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana, I looked back across the Ohio toward the city of Louisville. The red roofs you see are the Galt House Hotel. The bridge is the CSX Railroad Bridge.

Leaving the Falls Park, I drove to the George Rogers Clark Cabin located on the west side of Clarksville. You can Google George Rogers Clark Cabin and click on the link to the Falls website to learn more. Here's a few tidbits regarding George Rogers Clark I found interesting.

Clark demanded Kentucky be added to the original 13 colonies, at which time, it was 'first' made a 'county' of the state of Virginia before later becoming a state. Clark anticipated Britain's plan to initially attack in Kentucky, launching the Revolutionary War. The attack would have sandwiched the Kentucky colonists between the British troops and Kentucky's native Indians, cutting them off from the other colonies, so Clark formulated a plan to thwarp the attack. And did you know Clark had a lifelong friendship with Thomas Jefferson, one of our forefathers.

The Clark cabin sits on a hill overlooking Shippingport Island. Shippingport is an island which sits in the middle of the Ohio River between the Falls and the McAlpine Locks & Dam. The locks were built in 1825 to enable river traffic to continue down the Ohio, past the Falls, to the Mississippi. A movable dam was built in 1925, with the fixed dam finally being constructed in 1961. It was then renamed the McAlpine Locks & Dam, in honor of McAlpine, the Louisville engineer, who constructed the fixed dam. Boats enter the lift locks, the gates close, the water level rises to the level at the opposite end of the locks, the gates open and the boats exit the opposite end.

I drove over to the Clark Cabin several weeks ago to view a Bald Eagles' nest which sits in a tree on the edge of Shippingport Island. Looking out at the island I could see the nest at a distance. Photographers have seen Eagles coming and going early mornings and late evenings which I learned via the KY and IN websites. You can register on those websites to get daily emails of birding sightings from other registered birders. There is a female Eagle sitting on the nest and eggs in the nest. I meant to put up this post right after my visit, but got sidetracked. I hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter weekend, and hopefully, I didn't bore you too much with the history lesson. I find it amazing how little one actually knows about the history of a city they've lived in all their life which in this case is me. ENJOY!


  1. Thanks for sharing this bit of history Carol, I never knew that Kentucky was at one point a county of Virginia. Happy Easter!

  2. Great to read the history around where you live. Rivers a great place for a photog to be prowling around. Rivers the interstates and lifeblood of many major cities when they started. Enjoyed the photos and post.