Monday, May 9, 2016

Big Sandy River Lock and Dam 1

A couple of days ago, I went down to the mouth of the Big Sandy River in search of boats. I saw a few, but none that thrilled me photographically. So, I went over to the small park in Catlettsburg, KY, where Lock and Dam 1 used to be.

The dam opened for traffic in 1904, according to the Kentucky Historical Society. It was removed sometime between 1959 and 1962 when the Greenup Locks and Dam on the Ohio River raised its pool. All that's left of it now is part of the lock wall that's barely above the water line at normal pool. Because of the rain we had last week, the river is up and the lock wall could not be seen.

The dam is remembered at the small park I visited, with plaques painted on each side of the floodwall opening there.

An artist's rendering of the dam adorns a couple of panels on the floodwall.

As with much of the floodwall in Catlettsburg, paintings of local scenes show historical events, places and people of the town, such as this one of a sternwheeler.

If you look on the boat, you'll see pictures of local people. I've heard at one time you could pay to have your image painted onto the boat as a passenger, as this couple did with their wedding photo.

Finally, there is one drawing on the floodwall that has always amused my son Adam and me. It's this one.

For one thing, this artwork shows the Ashland Oil towboat Ashland pushing a coal barge out of the Big Sandy. As far as I know, Ashland Oil boats pushed petroleum barges. If there ever was an Ashland boat pushing coal, no one has told me about it.