The Dam Facts: Part III in a Series

July 24, 2014

What Are the Dam Facts?


While working on the Dam Project significant knowledge about the Newlin Grist Mill dam was gained. The unexpected Dam Disaster provided a unique opportunity to study the dam and learn about its construction and history. The staff took the opportunity to examine, photograph, sketch, and record as much information as possible.


Dam Facts - #3:  Dam Profiles


The collapse of the Newlin Grist Mill Dam provided a unique opportunity to examine the construction of early dam construction techniques. The dam collapsed in a way that created clear profiles of the stonework. The profiles revealed separate types of construction in the northern and southern sections of the dam.



The southern section consists of a row of face stones on the downstream side and a second row arranged upstream approximately six feet.  The downstream face is approximately seven feet high. Between three and four feet up, the face stones slope downward. Each consecutive layer continued to slope downward toward the upstream wall forming a wedge to cut through the water. The stones are all closely fit and the area between the two walls was filled with medium sized rubble stone.



The northern section was built with larger boulders but the face stones are also not closely fit together. They appear to have been loosely piled and then backfilled with large stones to keep them from being pushed over. The size of the stones and the way they were placed may indicate they were placed with machinery.

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