Powder Works and Mills
The tall chimney in front of the Sibley Millis the only surviving structure built by theConfederacy, and stands as a memorial to war dead.
Augusta and its canal played a prominent role inthe War between the States as the site of theConfederate Powder Works. The 168 foot highornate brick chimney was preserved in 1872 inmemory of those who died in the war. The Canalwas an important factor in the selection ofAugusta as the Powder Works site, as it offeredwater power and a means to transport materials.Railroad service to Augusta and the city's inlandlocation, protecting it from northern attacks,were also siting factors.
In 1862, Colonel George Washington Rains (Picture included)
wasresponsible for building the Powder Works,which was a complex of twenty-six buildings,widely spaced as a precaution againstthe danger of explosion, and extending two miles on both sides of the canal. Boatmandelivered charcoal, saltpeter, andsulfur to the Powder Works by canal.In addition to producing almost 3 million pounds of gunpowder, other parts of theAugusta complex made a wide range of munitions for use in the war. ColonelRains, justly proud of his accomplishments,boasted that no battle was lost for wantof gunpowder.
The Sibley Mill stands adjacent to thePowder Works chimney. It remains aprominent symbol of the post warindustrial success of Augusta. Built in 1880,and incorporating architectural elementssimilar to those used in the Powder Works, it is one of the finist national examples ofeclectic 19th century industrial architecture.
The King Mill, named after one of thefounders of the Augusta Canal, John Pendleton King, was built in 1882 tomanufacture textiles. By 1900, 1812 loomswere operated by hydropower from the canal.
Both Sibley and King Mills still usewater power from the canal togenerate electricity, producingcotton denim and textiles forhospital use, respectively.
Throughout the Harrisburgneighborhood are excellentexamples of housing which millsbuilt for their workers (Picture included).
Most weresingle and double wooden housesin a simple vernacular style, although a few brick row houses were built, emulating styles more typicallyfound in the North. Following theexample of their New Englandcounterparts, the mills also builtchurches, recreation halls, storesand kindergartens for their workers.
(Drawing of Mill included)
(Carving shows Canal Stevens Creek Dam to Water Works)Built 1846