Living in dread of the dredge...

Shoot the breeze here.
User avatar
Toolslinger United States of America
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:03 pm
Location: NJ/PA
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 1428 times

Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by Toolslinger »

I've been chasing a pond company for a couple years now to get my two mill ponds dealt with. The upper eroded, and basically emptied to a swamp, and the lower is on the verge of the same.

I've gone back and forth with the owner a couple times, but apparently he's notorious for not getting back to people. On the other hand he does amazing work, so likely worth the headache.

One of his guys came by yesterday to "float" the ponds. Basically they survey the pond depth, and condition, and how much material they would have to clean out. The upper pond is about 1/3 the size of the lower. I will not be able to rebuild to the original height, but I will be able to get 3' above where it is now, which would give me a pond again.

His guy stopped by to talk to be between surveys. Asked me if I had any idea how deep my upper was. I know it was something like 14 feet deep just before the falls when I was a kid, and the water is a good 6 feet down from the max line back then. He proceeded to inform me I have around 8' of silt, and it is around 1200 cu/yd of material...

Holy crap, that's a lot of material to deal with, and that's just the upper... That's going to be a mountain of material to dry out, and have to spread around... If I get it all dug out, I'll have 10' of depth again... That would be excellent. Plenty deep to keep the fish happy, and cool when I restock brook trout. They in turn will help take care of the potential mosquitos.
JSinMO United States of America
Posts: 1492
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2022 8:16 pm
Location: Missouri
Has thanked: 11692 times
Been thanked: 6378 times

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by JSinMO »

Sounds like a big project, but a nice fishing hole in the end.
I wonder if that silt would have enough organic matter to be good on a garden?
We have a small pond on the back of the property. It’s somewhere on the list of things I’d like to work on around here. Maybe someday……
User avatar
RoamingGnome Canada
Posts: 579
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2023 12:54 am
Location: Hamilton, ON
Has thanked: 8594 times
Been thanked: 2908 times

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by RoamingGnome »

I'll be following this thread with some interest...

We have a small creek running across the front of our property. The fact that it was a documented "wetland" gave us some headaches when we were going through the planning and permitting process for building on our 10 acres. Our neighbour said there used to be a small beaver pond there over 50 years ago, but it has gradually silted up to the point where it is mostly a meadow / swamp with the little crick going through. Once we have finished the construction projects I'd like to investigate with the local conservation authority what would be allowed in terms of "restoring" it a bit. It's crazy all the restrictions that got put on the property because of a water feature that is almost non existent now, but the office staff are too busy to get out from behind their desks and actually see that the landscape has changed so much since the last set of topo maps were done for the area...
'68 Case 195, '84 Case 446, '88 Ingersoll 222 - and 1965 Case 530ck (fullsize backhoe)
User avatar
Eugen Canada
Posts: 5108
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:52 pm
Location: Port Mcnicoll, Ontario
Has thanked: 11798 times
Been thanked: 16006 times
Contact:

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by Eugen »

Sounds like a problem I'd like to have. Both the pond and all the silt you may be able to take out. I've heard about people generating amazing garden soil from stuff like that. That is, if you're into making a garden at some point. Not sure I understood the whole context but having a mill is something else that triggers all kind of endorphine signals in my brain. In any case, it's really nice to hear about stuff like this, but you know we like pictures :D. :cheers:
Case 224, 444, 644, 680E
Kubota B26 :blush:
User avatar
Toolslinger United States of America
Posts: 297
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:03 pm
Location: NJ/PA
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 1428 times

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by Toolslinger »

So... The property is near the base of our mountain. The top of the mountain was basically the western extent of Pennsylvania as it started out. I'm west/north of that, so the mill was outside the colony, and also predates the revolution. It sat between a couple forts that defined the edge, and was used as a shelter from raids from the indigenous folks... It was placed here because the water source is excellent, and highly dependable.

Ok, so the upper dam was built to serve the grist mill, eventually they added a bone meal mill, and a cider mill on either side of the grist mill Only the grist mill is left. The lower pond fed a saw mill. That too is long gone.

Starting from the top... The upper pond is right next to my house. It would be to the right of these photos.
2024-02-12 12.26.37 (Small).jpg
That should be full. These photos don't really capture it all that well...
2024-02-12 12.26.43 (Small).jpg
From the top where the trees are to the water surface is close to 6'. The mill is down and to the left.
2024-02-12 12.27.17 (Small).jpg
This is the primary spillway. Someplace right in here is the opening to a 12" cast iron pipe that feeds down to the turbine in the mill.
2024-02-12 12.28.52 (Small).jpg
Front shot of the upper dam. Main spillway is to the left. The secondary is to the right of this shot, but that hasn't run for years due to the erosion on the primary.
2024-02-12 12.29.12 (Small).jpg
Dam is to the right here. Water drops another 8' or so to the level of the empty foundation slab from the bone meal mill. Then through the grist mill.
2024-02-12 12.29.30 (Small).jpg
This is the raceway. There would have been a wheel here originally, but we have no info on it. The turbine came much later. You can see it there hanging on the end of the 12" pipe coming from the right. It's another 10, or 12' drop in this photo.
2024-02-12 12.30.24 (Small).jpg
Below the mill now. The foundation on the right there is the cider mill remains. Water flows through a pipe under the dirt road I'm standing on.
2024-02-12 12.30.38 (Small).jpg
Other side of the pipe/road, flowing out to the lower pond.
2024-02-12 12.31.13 (Small).jpg
Lower pond.
2024-02-12 12.31.19 (Small).jpg
You can see the stone dam on the far side. Water runs out to the left of center here, and is eroding the back of the dam. Water depth over there in probably 10', perhaps a bit more.
JSinMO United States of America
Posts: 1492
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2022 8:16 pm
Location: Missouri
Has thanked: 11692 times
Been thanked: 6378 times

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by JSinMO »

@Toolslinger Thanks for the pictures, that is an awesome property you have! And I love the history of it! If you decide to work on the place please take us along! I’d love to see the ponds get worked on. :thumbsup:
User avatar
Eugen Canada
Posts: 5108
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2021 2:52 pm
Location: Port Mcnicoll, Ontario
Has thanked: 11798 times
Been thanked: 16006 times
Contact:

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by Eugen »

Beautiful place! I really appreciate you showing us around like that! :thumbsup:
Case 224, 444, 644, 680E
Kubota B26 :blush:
User avatar
MattA United States of America
Posts: 856
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2021 1:57 pm
Location: Swansea MA
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 3566 times

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by MattA »

Really cool pics. Looks like a good job for Eugen's backhoe.
Ingersoll 4016
myerslawnandgarden United States of America
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:17 pm
Location: Hinckley, IL
Has thanked: 95 times
Been thanked: 1125 times

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by myerslawnandgarden »

Toolslinger,

Those pictures are way cool.

Thank you!

Bob
User avatar
DavidBarkey Canada
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:35 am
Location: Waverley On.
Has thanked: 16825 times
Been thanked: 10190 times

Re: Living in dread of the dredge...

Post by DavidBarkey »

Such a beautiful place . Based on your description I assume you are at the bottom of the Niagara Escarpment Range . Natural water flows like that are e thing of wounders.
Dave
Mad Tractor Builder
Post Reply