Photo kindly shared by the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
The Mississippi river used to be a lot higher in years gone by. It was once a very important part of the Mississippi River system. There were the lumbering days of the 1800s, the steamboats carrying freight and running regular pleasure trips. At one time there were plans to build locks at Ferguson Falls and Innisville, but that dream never materialized.
Remember that the McArthur Mill did not have a basement for a long time as they used this same river to wash the wool directly in the water that flowed under the mill. Did you know at one point over 3000 finished yards of fabric came out of the mill a week?
I have written a few times about the river flowing next to the Gillies Mill. At one point they made a man made channel for the river to follow right up against the building and by Bill Bagg’s which was the Blacksmith’s shop.(had not been built in 1879 when this illustration was done)
There were originally three bridges as you can read here. But, it wasn’t until I saw this picture this week that I fully realize how mighty the Mississippi River once roared.
Same view as illustration and you can see how out of whack the sizing is in the illustration:)