The Augusta Canal
This was a new one on us. We stumbled across an article in one of the local papers, saying that some folks in Augusta, GA were upset by the Corps of Engineers' plans to decommision the Augusta Lock and Dam. Lock and Dam? Where? We had never heard of it! So, this was the perfect excuse to go renew some family ties with the cousins in Augusta! (Shucks, it had only been five years since the reunion...)
The article was about the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, but while we were there, we were also introduced to the Augusta Canal. The Augusta Canal was built in 1845, and enlarged in 1875, to divert some of the Savannah River into a 9 mile canal system to serve downtown Augusta. Locks were included to allow shipping to support the area's textile industry, and to supply water power and later hydroelectric power. This thing turned out to be much more extensive than we thought, so we didn't get the whole project (another quest in the planning stage!). But here is what we did get, and you can check out this link for more information until we get the rest of it.
This shot shows the "headgates" that control the flow of water into the canal, and some of the lock.
This is a view of the high water side gate. We are not sure, but were are guessing that the wheel controlled the water valve to raise the water level in the lock.
A view of the rest of the lock, and the start of the canal. The brochure we found mentioned a bike ride down the "towpath", which would be where mules were used to tow the barges up and down the canal, and where the modern day "mules" got their name.
This shot shows the diversion dam, a simple overflow type. It also illustrates the concept of the "fall line", which marks the change in terrain from the mountainous regions to the lowlands. That what all the rocks in the river are about.
Obviously, we have a lot more research to do, and a lot more pictures to take. We did not even get to the downtown area, where there is much more to see. We'll be back Real Soon Now!