Part of the USA Today Network

Triplet Locks on Codorus Navigation Works

YorksPast continues the series of posts exploring the history of the Codorus Navigation Works. Completed in November of 1833, the 11-miles of canal and slackwater, via the Codorus Creek, allowed navigating 70-foot long canal boats between downtown York and the Susquehanna River.

Part eleven explores the 3-Rise Staircase Locks 6, 7 & 8; required to travel by the highest dam on the Codorus Navigation Works.

Recall in part 2 of this series, canal engineer Simeon Guilford’s design for the lower half of the Codorus Navigation Works was quoted in the newspapers of late 1829, as: “In the Narrows, between Brillinger’s mill and Codorus forge, four dams will have to be erected—The first of these will be twenty-one feet high, requiring three locks of seven feet each to overcome a fall.”

After the Codorus Creek passes Brillinger’s Mill (i.e. at Route 24) and heads downstream through the Narrows, the creek bed drops much steeper then upstream. The research for this post was extensive; including everything from the study of several similar early 1800s slackwater navigation works, to more recent Army Corps flood plain data on the Codorus, to very recent Lidar data. The placement of the 21-feet high Dam 6 and the use of 3-Rise Staircase locks are the culmination of that research.

I’ve taken a photograph of a 3-Rise Staircase lock and made a few changes to better represent how Locks 6, 7 & 8 likely appeared around the bend from Dam 6 on the Codorus Creek in 1833. Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the three original illustrations in this post if details are cut off in the cropping of the illustrations, or if any have been removed from the ydr.com site.

Within that yorkblog.com site, the York Daily Record is presently experiencing gremlins, which, on some platforms, results in a new window opening at findbetterresults.com; a site no longer used by the York Daily Record. While the York Daily Record works on correcting this problem, simply close that window; the linked blog page, within yorkblog.com, that you were intending to reach should appear.

The gremlin also appears on the other yorkblog.com sites: Cannonball site of Scott Mingus, Only in York County site of Joan Concilio, Universal York site of June Lloyd, and York Town Square site of Jim McClure, where you can continue to access Jim’s older posts prior to October 30, 2015. As with all the yorkblog.com sites, the “Search this blog” within the page continues to be a fantastic search tool within each individual site.

Aerial visualizations detailing the placement of the 21-feet high Dam 6 and the 3-Rise Staircase locks are provided following the links and index to the first ten parts of this series:

Locks 6, 7 & 8, in the 1833 illustration, are known as staircase locks; each allowing a canal boat to be lowered, or raised, a height of 7-feet. Combined, they allow a canal boat to travel by the 21-feet high Dam 6 and navigate between water elevations of 322-feet and 301-feet; the elevations of the slackwater pools on either side of Dam 6. That dam is located 7.3-miles, via the Codorus Creek, from the West Market Street landing of the Codorus Navigation Company, and located 3.7-miles from the Susquehanna River.

I’ve used a 2015 aerial photo for a wider aerial view of this remote area along the Codorus Creek; on which the location of the 1833 Visualization is noted. East Manchester Township is north of the Codorus Creek and Springettsbury Township is south of the creek at this location. The nearest recognizable establishment is the Starview Sportsman Association grounds, just north of this section of the Codorus Creek.

Links to related posts include:

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts