Lock #3

Steamboat Building in Elizabeth, PA

A Journal of daily activities at the Elizabeth Marine Ways 1898 to 1925 

Lock #3

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Lock 3 on the Monongahela River,  Elizabeth, PA.


Original Lock 3

The Original Lock and Dam 3 from collection of Mark Dodd of Elizabeth Township.   Original Lock 3...date unknown

According to R. T. Wiley in his book " Elizabeth and Her Neighbors" the original Lock 3 opened during the Fall of 1844 and was located "two miles above town's docks" below the mouth of Watson's Run known as Pangburn's."  Dates of photo's above are unknown with the photo on the left being an earlier photo as it shows the dam made of wood.

Photo of Original Lock 3 area of river taken by Jacob Spencer October 2015  Photo of Original Lock 3 area of river taken by Jacob Spencer October 2015

Above photos showing what the original Lock 3 area looks like 105+ years after it was taken out of service. Photos were taken by Jacob Spencer  who works on the M/V JONATHAN ROBERT MURRAY, during the fall of 2015 .


Elizabeth Water Works 1900

Above is a copy of a photo published in the June 1978 issue of S&D Reflector, a Riverbuffs magazine. The magazine indicates the picture was taken c.1900-1903 and in addition to the boats and barges, shows the Elizabeth Water Works on the right.  The magazine writes that the picture was taken from the present location of Lock #3.

Below is a postcard dated 1911 with a similar photo as above but taken in milder weather with fewer barges.

     From collection of Historic Elizabeth     Color version of previous photo  


Lock 3 Built in 1905

Construction Starts on New Lock 3

This photo was also published in the June 1978 issue of S&D Reflector and shows the initial dredging work for the construction of the "new" Lock 3. The "new" lock was built in 1905 and moved downstream from the original lock more than a mile closer to the edge of town.

From S&D Reflector June 1978    



Lock 3 from collection of Historic Elizabeth.  Picture appears to show repair work in process.

From collection of Robert Eberhart


Looking up river at Lock 3

Black & White version of previous photo   Text of postcard  

This postcard dated 1911 written by a resident of Elizabeth has interesting information and sad family news.


Lock #3 in the 20s

Lock 3 1921

Lock 3 Hill  Elizabeth, PA



Photo of Lock 3 construction work during 1923 from collection of Monongahlea River Buffs      Close up of DERRICK BOAT NO. 5 from previous photo.   

These photos of construction/repair work taking place at Lock 3 are dated June 13, 1923.  A major  re-building of Lock 3 was completed in 1926 which included doubling the length of the inner chamber. Several boats shown in this photo include the Steamer HOMESTEAD actively involved as is the DERRICK BOAT NO. 5 and the small craft KATY  DID on the far right.  The Steamer VULCAN is also shown coming through the locks.

JW does not mention the Steamer HOMESTEAD being at the Elizabeth Marine Ways in his journal.  Although he does mention working on various Derrick Boats, the NO. 5 is not one he writes about.

Steamers Titan and A.B. Sheets at Lock #3

Lock 3 as Steamer Titan approaches

Lock 3 construction work

Lock 3 construction work

Lock 3 construction work, looking across to Floreffe and West Elizabeth

Lock 3 construction work

The six pictures above show Lock #3 undergoing some type of repair work.  I assume the pictures were taken by one of the workmen.  I date these pictures as being late 1920s and could be the remodeling work mentioned above.  The Steamer TITAN in the pictures above was built in 1899 and worked the Western PA rivers as the TITAN until 1929.


Steamer TITAN goes through Lock 3 during 1930s    This original photo, from the collection of William Fels, may have been taken the same day as the postcard photo to the left.  

This Steamer TITAN with a single smoke stack was built in 1930.

From collection of Historic Elizabeth shows the HOMESTEAD at Lock 3 during the 1950s

WILLIAM WHIGHAM at Lock 3 Elizabeth PA




From collection of William Fels From collection of William Fels  

These two photos show additional work taking place at Lock 3.  Written on the back of one of these photos is "unwatered chamber" as a reference to the outer lock chamber being drained of water.

Appears to be showing Lock 3 after work shown above was completed.  

Note the appearance of the land across the river from the Lock, today this land is heavily industrialized without open areas or homes as shown when these photos were taken.  Date of these photos is unknown.


Photo showing retirement of Fred Shenkle celebration at Lock 3 is dated December 1937.    Elmer Meyers was a young boy when this photo was taken with his Uncle John and family friend Ed Hebner  Steamer SAILOR at Lock 3

The above photos are from the collection of A. Elmer Meyers.  The photo on the left shows the employees at Lock 3 celebrating the retirement of Fred W. Shenkle who is sitting in the chair.  Fred retired during the first week of December 1937 as the "Assistant Lockmaster" after spending most of his working life on the locks of the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers.  Two other men are identified, Elmer's Uncle John Griffiths and his friend Emil Dandoy, both are Lockman.  Other names are appreciated.


Photo is dated October 1924  From collection of Historic Pittsburgh

Close up of previous photo that is dated October 1924 from collection of Historic Pittsburgh

added 3/2/17

Close up of previous photo that is dated October 1924 from collection of Historic Pittsburgh

Three photos above show the Steamer A. O. ACKARD in Lock 3 during October 1924.  Note the coal tipple that can easily be seen in the background, I think that this might be a Horner & Roberts coal mine tipple.  A few years ago there were remnants of this tipple that still existed, maybe they still do.



Postcard dated during 1930s


Lock 3 1950



Lock 3 1967   Lock 3 Elizabeth, PA  1999


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