Still More Dam Pictures
Cliffside Mills, LLC did some repair work in December, before this picture was taken. Things are back to normal now, with the pond full and sometimes overflowing, and the site of the “mammoth” mill neat and clean. Mike Harmon, principal owner, reports,
We had to open the turbine gates, which lowered the water in the river. This was done so that we could replace the gates that were in poor repair. That work has been completed.
Our staff replaced the wooden lip [of the dam] in early 2007. All of the limbs and leaves [seen in the photos] have probably now washed down river since the gates were closed, or will when we have a big rain.
Ironically, while the river was down Mother Nature sucked a great deal of sediment through the turbine chutes and actually deepened the river, at least within the immediate dam area. I was not there when we brought the pond back up but my partner told me it was amazing how much sludge was washed down the river while the gates were open. In hindsight, I suspect that is one of the reasons that they drained the river every year in the old days.
Speaking of sediment, what’s surprising is the shallowness of the pond, barely waist- or knee-deep over large areas. Of course, a person wandering out from the bank might sink over his head in the mire just beneath the water’s surface.
Our intrepid dam photographer, James Harris, who enjoys scampering up and down river banks, paid another visit to the dam site to record the recent activity and to document the changes to the area. (Compare recent photos with those made in September 2006.)
James inherited his photographic skills from his late father, Roy Lee Harris. He just doesn’t shoot a bad picture, nor does his sister Sherry Phelps, a professional photographer. We’ve assembled the best of James’ series into a nice animated Flash presentation. Turn on your speakers—there’s music.