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The Old Mill Stream: 1905

The Old Mill Stream: 1905

Circa 1905. "Keene Valley, old mill on the Ausable River, Adirondack Mountains, N.Y." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Pelton Wheel

There is a square wood box in the second bay from the right, with water flowing out from under it. Also, a drive shaft going upward from the box to the mill building. Very probably a Pelton Wheel turbine, which was invented in the 1870s. It was much more efficient than a conventional water wheel, extracting nearly all of the energy from the head of water. Hydroelectric dams use them, on a much larger scale.

No Wheel?

It looks like the waterwheel fell off and broke to bits on the rocks downstream.


Water powered grist mill I'd say. No sign of a wheel so it's probably powered by a turbine. Plenty of evidence of high water with all the debris tangled in the structure both above and below the dam. Much structure repair has been done over the years giving some idea of the longevity of the business. I doubt they're still grinding grain with stone wheels at this date, but if they were, that would add a little grit to your Grape-Nuts. Thanks Dave for a beautiful picture.

Looks like a new roof,

But I don't think I'd trust the foundation logs in the spring runoff.


I have to imagine where exactly the dam might be, google having so far failed me. I'd guess the mountains at the left are Porter (one of the 4000 ft. peaks) and Blueberry (nice view on the Keene Valley trail on the way up Porter, that starts from the grass uninhabited "airport" that didn't exist then and may not, for all I know, exist now).

Memories from the '50s.

Somebody more current may know.


"Might need to get that bucket of paint out again."

Too early for an iPhone

Wonder what he just dropped in the water.

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