A Drowning at the Rocky Rift Dam
On April 11, 1944, Reuben Klock, a 64 year old retired farmer, was swept into the Barge Canal at the Rocky Rift Dam and drowned. Klock had served as the dam’s caretaker, and lost his life in the course of his duties. He was believed to have fallen into the Canal (in this part of the state, it is the Mohawk River) as he attempted to lower the dam gates, which sometimes stuck and had to be loosened by blows from a hammer. Rocky Rift Dam is located between Locks 16 (Mindenville) and 17 (Little Falls). He may have been standing on a narrow walkway when he was accidentally thrown into the water. Reuben Klock’s body was recovered one and a half miles east of Lock 16 on May 6. Mr. Klock’s story was submitted to the Erie Canal Museum by his grandchildren.