The Great Stone Dam is among the most famous dams in Massachusetts. Built between 1845 and 1848 on what would become known as Lawrence, Massachusetts, it was an engineering feat for its time, with a length measuring 900 feet long by 35 high – making this old concrete structure bigger than most houses.
The Great Stone Dam is a historic structure that once provided water power for mills. The dam feeds two canals; one was completed in 1848 and the other in 1896. At their peak, both offered up to 13000 horsepower with “mill rights” sold by The Essex Company, allowing the use of this energy.
The Great Stone Dam is not only an ancient structure but also the site of a hydroelectric plant completed in 1981. The dam’s ownership has changed hands many times since then; it now belongs to Central Rivers Power USA (now the Essex Company’s parent company) and Lawrence Hydroelectric Associates.
The stone-faced Great Stone Dam was built by Gilmore & Carpenter to provide water for Rochester’s growing population. Construction began in 1845 and finished three years later, on September 19th, 1848, with Charles H Bigelow overseeing it all as captain of engineers.
The Great Stone Dam is a marvel of engineering and architecture. The granite blocks that make up the structure are enormous, weighing some about 4 tons apiece. They’re laid down securely into hydraulic cement with iron bolts securing them firm against their rock bed before being smoothed out to create an unbroken surface all throughout its length; no detail goes unchecked here – even at base levels where water depth varies less than 30 feet deep (10 meters).
The result? A sleek-looking dam that can stand tall against any hydration challenge thrown its way while also providing passage across river beds for people who need access or protection.
Situated at 1 Jackson Street, Lawrence, MA, 01840, the Great Stone Dam is a famous example of innovative engineering from the 19th century. The construction was revolutionary because it used hydraulic injections made with concrete, which helped to maintain its durability and reliability despite several severe floods that hit this area over time! No repairs or updates were ever needed on top of such stonework – not even after 1894 when there was flooding due to an overflow at another dam nearby (and also causing damage).
The Great Stone Dam facility features a walking and hiking trail, as well as ample parking for visitors. There is also restroom access available at this location.
This article was originally posted at Once Over Restoration.