What Are the Dam Facts?
While working on the Dam Project significant knowledge about the Newlin Grist Mill dam was gained. The unexpected Dam Disaster provided a unique opportunity to study the dam and learn about its construction and history. The staff took the opportunity to examine, photograph, sketch, and record as much information as possible.
As part of Newlin Grist Mill’s dual historic and environmental mission, the Dam Project looked at the environmental side of the dam as well.
The dam is an important home to a large variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. While the work was being conducted, we observed herons and kingfishers pursuing prey, snapping turtles laying eggs, and a variety of fish. The two most common residents appear to be the northern water snake and the six-spotted fishing spider seen in the attached images. Snakes of various sizes were seen during the project but all were non-venomous water snakes. Everyone was fascinated by the 3″ diameter spiders as they walked across the surface of the water.
During the project, extreme effort was taken to lessen impacts on this important habitat. The dam is positioned at the confluence of Concord and Chester Creeks. Therefore, the flow of Concord Creek was diverted through the millrace but only a small section below the dam was actually dewatered during the process. The day the water was allowed to flow over the dam again, a 18″-20″ diameter snapping turtle was observed swimming below the dam.