Meet The Dam Builder
By Reno Bailey
He was George E. Ladshaw, a Spartanburg civil and hydraulic engineer and well-known authority on the design and construction of hydraulic masonry dams.
In 1906, he wrote the book on dams, or at least he wrote a book. Titled “The Differential Arch Dam,” it was “An elementary treatise on masonry dams for the use of parties interested in water power development.” In it, he listed a number of dam types, the designs for which he held patents. If you’re about to build a dam, call George. He’ll either build it, or sell you a plan.
The book is elementary, maybe, but not for you and me. It is filled with formulas, arcane drawings and technical talk about different designs and methodology.
Although it contains photos of dams he built in Cliffside, Caroleen, Henrietta, Lawndale, Asheville and many other places, he never discusses them.
At least we get this old photo of our mill in its very early stages. Note the grove of trees where the store building and Memorial Building would eventually be built. This is the only photo we’ve seen that shows the back and side of the first community building (the white, two-story structure at right). It housed the post office, store and meeting hall, among other things.
Book courtesy Shirley Crawford Thompson