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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Arsenal Power Plant
Mississippi River Power Plant
Rock Island, Illinois

Arsenal Power Plant

• Structure: Arsenal Power Plant.
• Location: River Mile 484.4.
• Dam Width: 675 Feet.
• River Elevation (Pool): 561 Feet.
• River Elevation (Outflow): 545 Feet.
• Water Fall: 15 Feet.
• Date Opened:  
Mechanical power generation at this location dates back to 1836, when pioneer David Sears constructed a wooden dam across Sylvan Slough. The power was delivered by shaft and belts to a sawmill, gristmill, and a woolen mill. This dam was purchased by the US Army in 1865 as the as the Rock Island Arsenal was expanding during and shortly after the Civil War.

I have been able to find very little information about this project beyond what is stated above. At some point, the north wing of the dam was removed and the stone dam and powerhouse were installed. This building would have been converted from mechanical power to electrical power in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The new wing of the dam structure looks to be of 1940s era construction.

If anyone can help fill in these gaps, please let me know.


Arsenal Power Plant
Arsenal Power Plant
Arsenal Power Plant
Arsenal Power Plant

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