Kinnickinnic River Past and Present



Above: Junction Falls of the Kinnickinnic, pre-1890. Courtesy of WI Historical Society




Junction Falls of Kinnickinnic River in 1865

Above:  Junction Falls of the Kinnickinnic in 1865.  Click here to view the full-size image.




Junction Falls and the 'blue bridge'





Above:  Junction Falls about 1900






Above:  Junction Falls about 1870. Click here to view larger version.


Lake George was drained for dam repair in 1990. You can see that the Kinni started flowing through its old streambed.
New walking trails could be established along the flowing stream; and exposed lakebed could be restored and planted as a beautiful park-like setting right downtown.


The "Old Dam" sits approximately 30 feet upstream of the Upper "Junction Falls" Dam, with the
upper ledge of the Junction Falls waterfall visible at the base of the Old Dam.
Originally constructed in 1866, and then rebuilt in 1900, this wooden structure was exposed
during the above draw down of Lake George in 1989 - 1990 for the refacing of the Upper Dam.
The old Falls Street "Blue Bridge" is seen in the top right in this picture,
which has now been replaced by the new Winter Street Bridge,
the top of the Upper Dam is seen on the bottom left.

The area of today's upper impoundment of the Kinnickinnic River known as Lake George.
Shown here from a 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map, note - NO LAKE GEORGE!
Lake George was not created until the 1920 construction of the first cement Upper Dam.
In fact, Lake George was not made to it's current size
until the 1990 refacing of the Upper Dam to its current height.



Above:  Schematic map of the upper and lower dams. Click here to view larger version.
There is a map of the Falls on our "Facts About Dams" page.





Above:  Kinnickinnic Canyon on the lower portion of the river.



Above:  Trumpeter swans on the lower Kinni, March 2014, photo by Dan Wilkening
Click on the photo for a larger version