Harrisville Lake to Wading River Canal

h2ochild

Scout
Nov 24, 2010
83
57
18
64
Bass River Township
I often hike a short stretch of the Batona between Rt 563 and 679, along the remnants of a canal.
Does anyone know what was the purpose for this dug canal, that led from the West Branch of the Wading River, over to Harrisville Lake? The “ wooden diverter” remains are still in the river. At the time of the canal's creation Lake Oswego didn't yet exist ( A CCC construct) on old maps (circa 1833) that I've viewed. It has piqued my curiosity for years, as it was obviously no small undertaking to dig it. Was it simply to supplement the volume of water at Harrisville for milling and other uses? When was it used and when abandoned? It was surely too narrow and small to support transport craft of any size. Please forgive me if this has been discussed previous, but I've searched and could find no info.
 

ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,505
557
1,093
Another source of water for Harrisville. I am interested in the details also. I doubt the EPA would approve. The diverter washed out in Sept, 2005. The diverter was a great place to hang on a hot day.
IMG_0008.JPG
 
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Gibby

Piney
Apr 4, 2011
1,579
377
1,063
Trenton
From what I have read in the "Final Report of the State Geologist, Volume 7", page 283, the canal was used to divert water from the west branch of the Wading River into the pond to increase the capacity, giving the total tributary water-shed for power a total of 155 square miles. The added water to the pondage increased power over what the Owego alone was able to provide during the working hours of the mill(s).
 
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h2ochild

Scout
Nov 24, 2010
83
57
18
64
Bass River Township
Thanks for the reply and great photo ecampbell. When I first stumbled upon the diverter back in the late 70's, I supposed it was some low bridge of some kind. It wasn't until the 90's that I "discovered" the canal. I am certain that EPA nor DEP would approve such a project today...
 

h2ochild

Scout
Nov 24, 2010
83
57
18
64
Bass River Township
From what I have read in the "Final Report of the State Geologist, Volume 7", page 283, the canal was used to divert water from the west branch of the Wading River into the pond to increase the capacity, giving the total tributary water-shed for power a total of 155 square miles. The added water to the pondage increased power over what the Owego alone was able to provide during the working hours of the mill(s).
Thanks so much for the info. I'm amazed at the effort and energy expended to provide more power to Harrisville. Thanks again.