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Creating Living History through Lock House Renovation
Wisconsin’s Fox River Navigational System Authority is currently renovating the Lower Fox lock system to keep the river an active waterway for recreation and enjoyment. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, lock tender homes were built for the men who operated the 17 locks to live with their families. With strong support from Wisconsin’s State Historic Preservation Office, the Parkway is looking to restore four of the homes to their original glory with furnishings, trim and decor authentic to the time period. The homes are located in Little Chute and in Appleton.
The Parkway’s plan is to use the homes as vacation rentals, allowing the public to experience part of our shared history. The homes are adjacent to one of only two hand-operated lock systems still working in the U.S.
The homes need a lot of work. While the exterior of the houses are rehabbed, the interiors need to be demolished due to water damage, mold and vandalism. Modern plumbing and electrical systems need to be installed and renovation is estimated at approximately $200,000 per home. We are looking for individual and corporate partners to join us in the restoration of these homes. The distinctive nature of these homes and their riverfront location make them a unique attraction to visitors.
Support the Parkway — contribute today!
The Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway is a 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowed by law.
Lock House at Little Chutes Renovation is Complete!!
Do you have interest in stepping back in time for a day, a weekend, a week? Do you remember the comfort and warmth of Grandma’s house when you were young? Or the way you wish Grandma’s house would feel? We are working to recreate that wonderful place, if Grandma was married to a lockmaster, that is.
The lock house, situated right along the historic canal system which was built to house hand-operated locks in the late 1800s, was the residence of the men and their families who worked this system. The lockmasters made sure that navigation happened day and night, keeping commerce moving forward. They were an important part of the prosperity which grew along this hard working waterway.
The home is furnished with period antiques, clawfoot bathtub, and a 1930s kitchen complete with 1930 refrigerator and farm house sink. The house is also equipped with modern conveniences like a coffee maker, microwave, toaster.
Another wonderful feature is that the house sits adjacent to part of the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Trail.
Little Chute Guard Lock House was constructed in 1909 on Mill Street in Little Chute, a small Dutch Village in the Fox Cities area of Northeastern Wisconsin. It is a 1-1/2 story, Colonial Revival style home which was waiting to be brought back to life. The Parkway is fortunate to have great area volunteers who adopted this structure, and took a little piece of ownership for themselves. They gave hours and sweat equity and soon their affection for this house began to grow. We believe the same will be true for friends who come to rent the house.
Open for Overnight Rentals!
We have set up the ability to reserve the lock house for overnight rentals through AirBNB – please follow the button below to check availability and request a reservation.
If you would like to rent the lock house for events or parties, we will take care of that directly. Please call 920-209-7789 for information and date availability. You may just rent the space, or we have partnered with A-Mazing Events to help you plan the best party or event you have ever hosted!