~Lock No. 1 is located at 6521 FL 84, Davie, FL 33317, was used until 1912, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is also known as the Sewell Lock (architect) and the Broward Memorial Lock (https://dos.myflorida.com/florida-facts/florida-history/florida-governors/napoleon-bonaparte-broward/)
Driving into the heart of Ft Lauderdale, one is enveloped in traffic while passing through a preserved pond apple slough. Incredible! Just recently, Ed and I visited Lock No. 1 North New River Canal enjoying its art-deco architecture and pondering this “highway” of early Florida. Lock No. 1 was the first of the South Florida canal system playing a major role in the Everglades’ drainage dream of Napoleon Broward.
Canals built south of Lake Okeechobee were not just for drainage and agricultural development, but also for transportation to achieve these things. In early times, boats were the car or the horse…
Please read from Broward History below:
“One of the canals, the North New River Canal, was, in the early years, a major transportation artery between Fort Lauderdale and Lake Okeechobee. In order to make the canal useful for transportation, locks had to be constructed. Lock No. 1 at the south end of the canal was the first to be built in South Florida.
…The opening of the lock led to an increased agricultural exploitation of the newly drained land along the New River Canal. Produce grown in this area and around Lake Okeechobee was brought down the canal through the locks to the railroad in Fort Lauderdale. An even more important cargo was Okeechobee catfish. New River was lined with fish houses, overhanging the river. Boats traversed the distance between the lake and Fort Lauderdale in groups. This made the trip go faster since more than one boat could get into the hand-operated lock at a time making it more efficient.
The locks also made it possible for small steamboats to operate on a regular basis between Fort Lauderdale, the lake and Fort Myers via the Caloosahachee River. Regularly scheduled steamers included the Suwannee, Lily and Passing Thru. These boats carried passengers, cargo and tourists up and down the river. By 1926 the canals had shoaled to the point that boat traffic was no longer practical and the waterway was replaced by a railroad and highways as the primary transportation method to and from the lake…”
~Excerpt from Broward.org (http://www.broward.org/History/NationalRegister/Pages/LockNo1NorthNewRiverCanal.aspx)
One could say that Lock No. 1 helped lead to the success of the Everglades Agricultural Area (https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1182/pdf/12Everglades.pdf) as well as the development of Broward County that continues today right into what was once the Everglades (https://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/fl-op-buzz-mega-mall-everglades-20180511-story.html)
For Ed and I the visit was a great experience. And I was happy knowing I could tell my mother we visited something on the National Register of Historic Places! The Iguana’s liked the historic lock too. They were everywhere!
Structures of theSFWMD: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/lib/graphics/projmaps/infra.pdf