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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Laurel in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Laurel Harnessed the River to Power the Cotton Mill

Riverfront Park Heritage & Nature Trauil

 
 
Laurel Harnessed the River to Power the Cotton Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
1. Laurel Harnessed the River to Power the Cotton Mill Marker
This marker is on the path behind the Laurel Pool.
Inscription. Laurel's earliest mill was established on land originally inhabited by Native Americans. The early mills were located on the banks of the Patuxent River at the fall line. Here the River elevation changes and provided an excellent source of water power.

A Massive Dam and Mill Race
A massive dam built in 1850 controlled the Patuxent River's flow in order to supply water to the Laurel Cotton Mill. According to newspaper reports in 1855 the dam measured 222 feet wide and 27 feet tall. A canal on the south bank, called the mill race, ran about 600 feet and directed water into the mill.

Wooden doors in the large sluice gate across the channel were used to control the flow of water. These would be opened or closed depending upon the power needed. Water flowed from the race or canal to the mill where it powered two overshot wheels and later a large Boyden Turbine before flowing back into the river. The dam was frequently in need of repairs. Most of the dam was blown up on the 1940s.
 
Erected by City of Laurel Department of Parks and Recrecation.
 
Location. 39° 6.623′ N, 76° 51.49′ W. Marker is in Laurel, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from Main Street
Closeup Of Picture On Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
2. Closeup Of Picture On Marker
, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. The marker in on the Riverfront Park path, as it goes behind the Laurel Municipal Pool. The best way to get to the marker is to park in the Pool's parking lot at the north end of 9th street, then walk west along the path behind the Pool. Marker is in this post office area: Laurel MD 20707, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Casula Point (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Laurel: A Factory Town Bridging Two Counties (about 300 feet away); Laurel Cotton Mill and Dam (about 300 feet away); Laurel Factory: A Mill Town (about 300 feet away); Laurel Factory: (about 300 feet away); Water From the Dam Powered the Cotton Mill (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Laurel Harnessed the River to Power the Cotton Mill (about 700 feet away); The Old Stone Methodist Church (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Laurel.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Closeup Of Picture On Marker Of The Dam image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
3. Closeup Of Picture On Marker Of The Dam
Closeup Of Map On Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
4. Closeup Of Map On Marker
"This 1923 Sanborn Map, shows clearly how the mill race flowed from the dam into the factory, which was then making window shades."
Closeup Of Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
5. Closeup Of Marker
June 16, 1879 - Rather short of water to-day. dam leaks badly.. June 25..Stopted (sic) some of the leaks on dam.. June 28 Dam leaking badly again July , 1879. Stopted mill till 21st in order to repair dam.
Diary of Laurel Mills Superintendent George Nye, June-July 1879
Closeup Of Picture On Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
6. Closeup Of Picture On Marker
The location of this marker is on the Riverfront Park path behind the Laurel Pool. image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
7. The location of this marker is on the Riverfront Park path behind the Laurel Pool.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 25, 2015, by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. This page has been viewed 205 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on January 25, 2015, by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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