Lock and Dam #50
Ohio River Mile 876.8

Lock & Dam 50, High Water, March 6, 1979
Click on photo for larger view.

Lock and Dam #50, eliminated from the Corps of Engineers’ system in 1980, was located in Crittenden County, Kentucky, a few miles east of Cave in Rock, Illinois on the Ohio River (Mile 876.8 Ohio River).  James (Herschel) Belt worked at Dam 50 and Sue Belt drove a yellow school bus, which she parked, at the picnic area parking lot at night. They lived on the dam reservation (in the second house from the top). I remember that sometimes it (the yellow school bus Sue drove back and forth out of the reservation) would sometimes hit a hornets nest located high in a tree near the Earl W. (Wally) Rankin house (located in the bottom right of the photo). The hornets did not seem to mind the jarring as the school bus passed. The nest was too high for any other vehicles to bother. I would see the bus bump the nest as I came to and from work.  (The tree is seen in the photo dated March 6, 1979.  It is the tree at the bottom third of the photo near the water’s edge just below the triangle flower bed in the road.) Also in the same photo, you can see our small boat to the left of the tree mentioned above ferrying someone across the water to our cars that were parked just off the bottom right of the photo.

Back in the 1970s, many groups and individuals enjoyed picnics at the Dam.  On most Saturdays and Sundays during the summer months, the grounds were filled with people as they enjoyed the picnic area (located the left of the houses in the trees).  People fished, played games, grilled out, and were baptized in the river.

I think that the water level reached 51 feet on our gage just below the Powerhouse Basement floor in our well housing when this photo was taken; in 1937 I think the river at Lock 50 reached 62 feet on the gage that faced the river on the front of the Powerhouse.
In this photo the Powerhouse is top center surrounded by water and our fleet is moored in deep water to the left of the picnic area.
Wicket Home Page
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Tom's Lock and Dam Stories
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Lock and Dam 50 Highwater Photo
Lock and Dam 50 Photos and Stories
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Lock 50 Today Video

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Crittenden County Local Chapter 1373