Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
The carriage next to the powerhouse
The railway transports pleasure boats like pontoons or runabouts between Muskrat Lake and Lake Sallie

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
Tracks across sidewalk and into Lake Sallie

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
Tracks into Muskrat Lake

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
Powerhouse, controls and carriage looking towards Lake Sallie
Note sign on powerhouse anti exotics moving between waterways. By the old lock site, there is a sign saying movement of water life between bodies of water is a good thing. How is something both good and bad?

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
The rocky spillway that was built to replace the WPA lock and its parallel flume way in 2001

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
This dike separates Muskrat Lake to the left from a small pool to the right. This pool was used as a winter drydock during the steamboat era. Inserting planks into the vertical grooves (there are two pair) either side of the concrete plank would isolate the pool from the lake. It could then be drained through the flume way shown below.

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
A larger view of the dry dock pool looking in the opposite direction with the dike on right.

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
A closer view of the inlet to the pool. The discharge to drain the pool into Lake Sallie is where the people are walking.

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
One of three information signs at the lock site

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
The second of three signs at the lock site

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
The third of three signs at the lock site
Unlike the others, this one is propaganda, not just facts. The issues are:
1) The site at Dunton Locks did not have a low head, run of the river dam as shown. Instead, there was a long earth dike and a wide lake above with a narrow lock and separate narrow spillway structure, both of which could easily have been protected against boater and other entry.
2) The function of providing fish migration past the site could have been handled similarly to what was done without destroying the lock. Destruction of the lock in 2001 results from blindness on the part of those involved. There was a similar, guillotine gated lock on this site from 1889 to 2001. Restoration would have preserved a historic artifact of an earlier era and demonstrated the meaning of the park's name.
3) The question of fish and plant migration past the site is interesting. On the adjacent building are signs warning against the migration of exotic species. The present rocky spillway does nothing to stop them.

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
The WPA era lock, removed in 2001


Becker County Historical Society

Dunton Lock
 Historical Views
Note that the first view shows a lock with miter gates and a sill at the far end. Only the left hand gate has a balance beam, which is sharply sloping. The walls appear to be wooden planks as in the original lock. The grooves for the guillotine gate barely show. The wetting on the walls and the far gates show the lift of six feet and a depth over the sill about four feet.

The second view looks the opposite way and though the miter gates are open and hard to make out, the guillotine gate at the lower end is vary apparent.

The third view looks the same way as the first, but back further so that the guillotine gate shows. The wooden approach guide walls that show at the edges of the first view are better shown in the third. The catwalk across the lower end of the lock in the third picture is not apparent in the second.

The fourth view shows the lock with a boat and a second boat tied up to the right.

Dunton Lock
This is another historic post card view of the lock looking upstream. It is interesting in that the lock appears to be rebuilt in concrete, yet be operational with a raised walkway over the lower exit. The lower guillotine gate is of wood and appears operational. The upper miter gates also are of wood, with only a flimsy balance bean for the left hand gate. The upstream miter sill appears to be above water.


Photo by Bev Morant

View of Dunton Lock taken in 1974 showing frames for lift gates.
(from American Canals #13)


Photo by Bev Morant

View of Dunton Lock taken in 1974 looking upstream
(from American Canals #13) 

Remains of the WPA era Kingsbury Lock at Bucks Mill, MN with the dam in the background
7/18/10

Dunton Locks Marine Railway
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10
The view across Muskrat Lake to the Dunton Locks marine railway and lock site from US Route 59

The navigable culvert under US Route 59
Detroit Lakes, MN
7/18/10

The reduced height bridge at Shoreham on the Pigeon River between Lakes Sallie & Melissa
near Detroit Lakes, MN
7/19/10

The Pigeon River looking upstream from County Road 20 near the site of Johnson Lock
near Detroit Lakes, MN
7/19/10

The Pigeon River looking downstream from County Road 20 near the site of Johnson Lock
near Detroit Lakes, MN
7/19/10

Map of Pelican Lakes from American Canal #13