History of Lowers Brewers lockstation

Rideau Canal National Historic Site

Specifications of the lockstation

A single lock with a lift of a 4.0 m (13.1 feet)

The Construction of the lockstation

The contractor for Lower Brewers was Samuel Clowes. He died in 1828 and Robert Drummond, the contractor for Kingston Mills, took over the job.

An existing sawmill was bypassed with a canal cut, allowing it to continue operating. However the operator of the mill, a Mr. McLean, kept flooding the works. After receiving complaints about this from Clowes, the contractor, Colonel By ordered guards to be posted to prevent McLean doing any more flooding.

Similar to most of the southern lock stations, seasonal malaria, which first appeared in Rideau work camps in 1828, and repeated each summer in the southern Rideau, hampered the construction with workers abandoning the site until the fall.

Structures of the lockstation

Lockmaster's House: A one-storey defensible lockmaster's house was constructed in the early 1840s. It was built of stone in a location that provided a clear view of both the upper and lower approaches to the lock. A second-storey frame addition was built in 1898-99..

Engineering Structures: The engineering structures at Lower Brewers are a 37 m (120 foot) long dam, 2.9 m (9.5 feet), a waste weir, a single lock and two bridges, one crossing the waste weir and the other, a wooden swing bridge, crossing the lock. The present swing bridge at the lockstation is a reconstruction of the original swing bridge built in 1872. It is hand operated and is one of four such bridges still in use on the Rideau Canal.

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