September 29, 1871 — written with files from the Almonte Gazette
September 1871- with files from the Almonte Gazette
The water is getting very low in the Mississippi river, and although none of the Almonte mills have yet been short there is not much doubt they will be, soon, unless we have plenty of rain. All the mills, at Carleton Place are, we hear running within half time, or at very slow speed, and the large mills of Messrs. Gillies & McLaren are not doing half work.
We have not heard how the mills farther up or down the river are affected, but they must be all more or less short. Here, on Mondays, the supply of water is short, owing to the fact that no water is let down from Carleton Place Lake on Sundays. Something might be done to remedy this, were a tight dam made at the upper falls, so as to save the water on Sunday between here and Appleton. This would give sufficient to keep up the head of water until Tuesday, by which time the water used by the Carleton Place mills is down this far.
What is wanted, however, and we are very much surprised that mill owners on the river have not already seen the necessity of it, is an organization with a view to improving the water supply of the Mississippi, by taking advantage of the numerous lakes on its head waters, in which, were suitable dams erected, a large supply of water might be stored, sufficient to keep every mill going at full speed the year round. The water powers on the Tay have been so much improved by the Government- dams erected for the purpose of storing water for the benefit of the Rideau Canal, that they have now an equal supply of water throughout the year, and logs, we learn, were last month, run through the slides at Perth as if it had been in June.
When such results have been accomplished on the insignificant Tay, there can be nothing to prevent those interested from doing the same on the Mississippi, which, with its numerous tributaries, drains a very large section of country admirably adapted, for the purpose of storing water for a supply in the fall. Messrs. Gillies & McLaren are now regretting they did not build their mills with a view to using steam power, and the Rosamond Woolen Co. are, we believe, already preparing to put in an engine to use when water is low.
This expense, and much annoyance and bother, might be saved were the surplus—water of spring stored up as we have suggested. Rivers no larger than this are utilized in the New England States in this way and to an extent very few of our mill owners have any conception of, and sums are paid per annum for a water supply which would astonish some of our slow going coaches. Were 2 or 4 of our mill owners on the river take such an initiative in a movement such as we have suggested—we have no doubt they would receive the support of the rest. I worry my job will be omitted tomorrow.
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Low Water in Pakenham 1871– The mills at Pakenham are also idle, for a few days, from the scarcity of water in the Mississippi River. The water in the Mississippi is so low just now that most of our mills have been compelled to shut down. If this was to continue for any length o f time it would have a serious effect on the business of the place ; but in all probability the scarcity of water will be but for a short time. If our millowners would only turn their attention to improving the water powers of Almonte, instead of disputing about their respective rights, we think that means could be devised whereby there would be sufficient water all the year round. Rosamond’s, Elliott, *Routh & Sheard’s, Forgie’s and Wylie’s mills, *Flett’s foundry and others, have all felt the effect, more or less, of low water. 1871
-*Andrew Elliot and his firm, Elliot, Routh and Sheard, purchased. Hill No. 2 from Bennett and William Rosamond Go. in 1870
-*Sawmills, machine shops and iron foundries followed, including among the latter the foundry operated for a few years by John Flett (1836-1900) Almonte
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