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Cochrane Dam - Dover-Needham, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 15.516 W 071° 15.804
19T E 313306 N 4680969
Quick Description: The Chochrane dam along the Charles River is set in a beautiful rural-like area, and once backed up water for mills once located there.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 3/26/2010 7:46:20 AM
Waymark Code: WM8FGA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Long Description:
On the Needham-Dover line, near the intersection of Willow Street and Mill Street in Dover, is a stone-cement dam that stretches across the Charles River. This dam is known as Cochrane Dam, and the area is known as Red Wing Bay. The dam is about 7 feet high and backs up the river for at least a mile. The river makes a sharp bend just up from the dam, and a diversion channel was made that still carries water around the dam.

The area is a favorite place for people to stop. The dam and river is very scenic through here, people come to see the water spilling over the dam, or to fish by boat or on the banks. There is a bridge the crosses the river (Willow Street, Dover - South Street, Needham) just upriver. There is a small parking lot on the Dover side at the road intersection, and a slightly larger one just off South Street on the Needham side. A canoe launch area is available on the Needham side. Downstream the rapids have been used as a kayak white water slalom course. There was no evidence of that at the time of the visit (though it is early in the year and the area was experiencing minor flooding [March 2010]).

The place was first dammed in 1675 and used to power Fisher's gristmill. The dam would later grow and would be used for a variety of businesses including making paper, nails, and textiles. Later (not likely using water) automobile tires would be made at this location. Today, there is no industry here. What remains are the dam, the diversion channel, and several foundations and walls on both sides.
Waterway where the dam is located: Charles River

Main use of the Water Dam: Other

Material used in the structure: Masonry/Concrete

Height of Dam: 7 feet

Date built: 1/1/1675

Fishing Allowed: yes

Motor Sports Allowed: no

Visit Instructions:
Photo of the Dam and a description of your visit.
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