The Red Chair also learned about the power of the river and the various dams built in the area to harness the power from the river. Appleton became a national leader in developing hydroelectric power for incandescent lighting to local homes and businesses. The Vulcan Hydroelectric Central Station boasts several first, including the first commercially successful electric trolley system, which operated in Appleton from 1886-1930.
Red took some time to read about the history of the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway that linked Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. The Waterway allowed boats to bring new settlers, as well as manufactured goods, more readily to Appleton and the Fox Valley region as well as other parts of Wisconsin. Narrow steamboats were specially built to navigate the river’s narrow and often overgrown channels back then.
Red loved visiting Appleton and learning all about the Fox River and its locks system as well as other firsts in hydroelectricity and the many influences the Fox River has had on Appleton and the Fox Cities.