Riverwall

Date in History: 1930’s

In 1931, Fort Atkinson city engineer Elmore Klement made a survey of the Rock River as it traveled through the city with the idea of building a river wall to tidy up the messy shorelines. Happily his plan coincided with the depression-era government’s plans to hire the unemployed, and Klement got his dock wall plan approved as a public works project.

Fort Atkinson’s river wall was constructed over the next two years with farmers cheerfully donating stones they’d pulled out of their fields over the years and the workers earning 30 to 40 cents an hour. Though many naysayers predicted the whole thing would end up in the river at the first sign of high water, the men did a fine job as the wall just received it first major re-pointing and repair in 2001.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 08/18/2003.

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