Historic Old Mill District Dam
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 19.204 W 077° 28.508
18S E 283622 N 4244227
Quick Description: This concrete dam, built in 1907 on the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, replaced an older one and was said to be state-of-the-art.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 9/21/2007 7:02:39 PM
Waymark Code: WM28CJ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member NFreitas
Views: 46

Long Description:
Fredericksburg is located at the falls of the Rappahannock River - the point where the flat coastal plain meets the rocky piedmont to the west. This is where the river becomes unnavigable - rocky rapids and shallow waters make its channel impassable to vessels.

However, this is where the river has its maximum water power potential. The fall of the rapids over the piedmont creates a great amount of water power which could be harnessed to turn water wheels. The resulting energy was used to run mill machinery.

Therefore, Fredericksburg was always a favorable location for milling. The river provided valuable water power as well as an important transportation link for receiving raw materials and shipping finished products. Prior to the Civil War, most of the city's mills were owned and operated by local investors.

About 1720, Francis Thornton, Sr., erected a grist mill which is said to be Fredericksburg's first milling enterprise.

In July 1783, Francis Thornton III extended the mill's dam all the way across the river to the opposite bank. (Info from HistoryPoint.org)

Today, little can be found about the exact history of this dam. A display on site states that it replaced a dam dated back to the 1800's. The dam still exists near the site of Thornton's Mill. Both are located in the Historic Old Mill District of Fredericksburg.

Waterway where the dam is located: Rappahannock River

Main use of the Water Dam: Other

Material used in the structure: masonry

Date built: 01/01/1907

Height of Dam: Not listed

Fishing Allowed: Not Listed

Motor Sports Allowed: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Photo of the Dam and a description of your visit.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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ORDIMIC visited Historic Old Mill District Dam 5/14/2019 ORDIMIC visited it
DON'T  PANIC visited Historic Old Mill District Dam 6/2/2011 DON'T PANIC visited it

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