Trace the history of Lockport since the discovery by Marquette & Joliet in 1673. Meet Lockport’s founding citizens. View Lockport’s milestones on our Interactive Timeline. Follow the progress of the I&M Canal. See the early industries that spurred growth. Visit our well-preserved Landmarks on our Historic Tour.
Abraham Lincoln was an early advocate for a canal in Northern Illinois to connect Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. This area, in the 1830’s, needed transportation to spur development and commerce in the State. Lincoln, and his fellow legislators, agreed to the construction of the I&M Canal with Lockport as it’s Headquarters. During his only term as an Illinois Congressman, in 1848, Mr. Lincoln announced the completion and opening of the historic waterway. Lincoln is reported to have traveled through Lockport on the I&M Canal on more than one occasion. His funeral procession traveled though Lockport on the railroad tracks that parallel the canal.
Discovered a water route from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan via the Illinois River and the Chicago Portage. The journey passed through the Des Plains River Valley where Lockport is located.