USACE LOCK AND DAM FACILITY (1919-1964)
The Thomas More University Biology Field Station was the former site of Lock and Dam 35, one of 51 such facilities built by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Land for the complex was obtained by the federal government from several sources beginning in the 1910’s. A total of 12.73 acres were purchased originally for $3030.00. The construction on Lock and Dam 35 was begun in 1914 and completed in 1919. The initial complex included a Chanoine weir wicket dam with rolling lock gates, a lockhouse or powerhouse, warehouse, and four worker’s cottages. Three additional cottages, a boiler garage, and storage shed were added later.
FIELD STATION ESTABLISHED in 1967
The University acquired the 25-acre site in 1967 from the federal government through a grant co-written by Sister Mary Laurence. For the first 30 years of the Field Station, the University shared joint ownership with the Federal Government. Provided the facility was used exclusively for research and educational purposes, the property was to be turned over to the University in 1997, at which time we took over sole ownership of the place.
THE EARLY YEARS (1970s-1990s)
The Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company (now Duke Energy) provided the first funding for undergraduate research at the Station, marking the company’s ongoing support of the Station. The project, initiated by Thomas More students, entailed the study of the fish populations and water chemistry of the River around Beckjord Power Plant. During this time, the Lockhouse sat vacant; while the faculty, including Sister Mary Laurence, Drs. Bryant and Ferner and students worked out of the houses on the hill. Over the years, nearly 300 student interns have taken part in the research at the Field Station.