The Old Lock 1 Park is located at the remains of Old Lock 1 on the Tombigbee River between Jackson and Coffeeville in Southwest Alabama. This park lies in a grove of large pecan trees. Major improvements at the park site from 1999–2004 include a picnic pavilion, restrooms, renovated boat ramp, paved roads, parking lots and a park host campsite. Improvements were made possible by a partnership between the U. S. Corps of Engineers, the Clarke County Commission and the State of Alabama.
In the late 1800’s, Congress authorized improvements to the Black Warrior – Tombigbee River System, and 17 locks were constructed along these rivers. Each dam was numbered consecutively from south to north. Work began on Lock One in 1893 and the lock began operation in 1908. Lockmasters and their families lived on site, but a 1953 tornado claimed several of the original buildings, which led to the demolition of the remaining buildings. The operation of Lock 1 continued until November 1960 when a new channel by-passed it, cutting off four miles of the river. Over the years, new dams have replaced all of the original 17 dams and only the chambers of Lock 1 and Lock 17 are still visible above the water line.
This park is located on the east side of the Tombigbee River approximately 12 miles NW of Jackson, AL (GPS coordinates N31.573528,W88.032833).
Photos courtesy of www.ruralswalabama.org