A river to the development of a city

I am wrapping up week 7 here at the Olmsted Center, the official quarter mark of this 6 month internship here…I have been continuing to work on the mapping and chronology of the Woodlawn Tract. This week, in addition to continuing to trace historic maps, I’ve begun to gather national, regional, and local contextual site history to create a framework to better understand the evolution of this landscape. Some larger events that I have been researching is the shift from agriculture to industry and how that has manifested in the shifting acreages of farmland on the property.

Recently I spent a lot of time looking into the old mills that lined Beaver Creek. In the days of early settlement when water was the prime source of power, the mills of the colonists were built along the banks of small rivers and streams. Millers and millwrights dammed these waterways to create pools, and from the pools, the water was directed through raceways and flumes to spill onto the creaking waterwheels that turned the machinery of the mills.  It is interesting to see the old remnants of former land uses.

1849 map showing old mill race along the Beaver Creek

1849 map showing old mill race along the Beaver Creek

geo-locating a former dam site

geo-locating a former dam site

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