The East Channel of the Grasse River

The East Channel of the Grasse River (HM1O0C)

Location: Canton, NY 13617 St. Lawrence County
Country: United States of America

N 44° 35.79', W 75° 10.475'

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The East Channel Dam in Three Seasons - Spring, Late Summer, and Winter

"...There was a dam behind Dishaw's foundry. A prolonged dry spell would lower the Grasse River until it didn't spill over the dam, but the water would still run through a raceway and help create a pool in a basin among the rocks some distance below the dam. We swam in that bason - without a stitch on! Getting across the raceway took some doing. You teetered across a plank that had been converted into a bridge." Sandbox to Mortarboard, 2003 The three dams on the Grasse River around Falls Island were constructed as crib dams. They were erected of heavy timbers, laid up something like a log house, the interior filled with stone. It was an economical if not permanent way to hold back the waters to be used as a power source. To construct a crib dam, after determining the most appropriate location holes were drilled into bedrock. One end of an iron rod or bolt, approximately 30 inches long an inch and a half diameter, was split five or six inches at one end. An iron wedge was inserted into the split end of the bolt and it expanded as it was driven into the hole. Holes were drilled through the foundation logs that were then dropped over the bolts and anchored to the bedrock. When the river water is low a number of these anchor bolts are still visable today, bent over by ice and logs over the years. The first layer was made up of large logs, run across to both sides of the river banks. Then a second course was laid up at right angles to the first and spiked together by iron drift bolts. Stacking and pinning the logs this way continued until the dam was four to six feet high and the spaces between the timbers were filled with stone and gravel. The dam face was vertical but was built to slope upstream and finished with planking to allow ice and debris to pass over. SLCHA [St. Lawrence County Historical Association], Canton Town and Village Historian's Office SLCHA Early on the 20th century industrial activities on the island were coming to a close. With the gristmill no longer operating, the sash and blind building torn down, and the lumber mill burned out, the dams soon fell into disrepair. There was some talk in the 1930s about trying to put the dams back into operation, but nothing ever came of it.
HM NumberHM1O0C
Placed ByGrasse River Heritage
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 19th, 2015 at 5:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 486143 N 4938143
Decimal Degrees44.59650000, -75.17458333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 35.79', W 75° 10.475'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 35' 47.4" N, 75° 10' 28.5" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)315
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 35 Riverside Dr, Canton NY 13617, US
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