Turtle and I did some more extensive exploring at the mill site, and I walked away a bit more confident about my understanding of the site. I will recant my previous assertion that there were two mills here. I mistook for a raceway what I now think was simply an overflow channel, as I could find no suitable high ground for a mill. There are still some mysteries to be solved, however, including a pond immediately below the dam that appears to have been dug out, as well as a network of drainage ditches throughout the swamp below the dam. Uncle Budd has agreed to join me soon on another trip to the site.I was able to get back to the site of the skit mill today. There were clearly at least two mill races, and there might have possibly been a third. The mills existed at these two locations:
It looks then that there were two mills here utilizing two separate mill races on opposite sides of the river. Notice that the mill owner (Ballangee?) made use of an abandoned river channel in order to power the southernmost of the two mills, rather than excavating an entire raceway.
Thank you, Ted. Do you know of any examples offhand of pine barrens saw mills which were situated as such?Guy,
Don't be fooled by the absence of "high ground." Saw mills were sometimes located directly on the edge of stream corridors or even over water on pilings.
Lost Town Hunter
I went back today (dressed for the weather) and did quite a bit more exploring on the other side, crossing over and going through to the river. Ted's mention of mills in post #64 is interesting. The "diversion" canal I'd originally seen in the past is connected to another that merges with the big one we discussed. There is a spot of "higher" ground where this canal opens at the river channel.....
Overall, almost as puzzling as the channels we saw yesterday. I'm interested to hear what you and Budd come up with.