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Carbonton Dam

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 6 months ago

Upstream: NC 42 Bridge (Carbonton)


28-1 Carbonton Dam


Downstream: Plank Road Bridge (Gulf)



According to Wicker (1971) Irishman Connor Dowd built the first mill here in the late Colonial Period. Wicker (1956) places the date 1760 by it. Dowd was a sympathizer with the British and had much of his land sold off by the US after the Revolutionary War. Benajmin and Aaron Tyson bought the mill (Chatham DB E, pg 217) and obtained permission (Chatham Ct Min Aug 1791) to build a mill “where Connor Dowd’s mill was.” Strother (1808) shows "Tyson’s Ferry" just below an unnamed mill. Brazier (1833) shows this mill as well.


Connor Dowd built the first mill here. Benjamin and Aaron Tyson bought the site (Chatham DB E, pg 217) in 1791. Chatham Ct Min for Aug 1791 granted Benjamin and Aaron Tyson permission to build a mill “where Connor Dowd’s mill was.” Chatham DB AD, pg 178(1836) refers to "Tyson's (now Roberts') Mill". Hadley (1980) says that Peter Evans’s mill had recently been rebuilt when it was first observed by the Navigation Company (1848).


Chatham DB AD, pg 178(1836) refers to the "Tyson's (now Roberts') Mill".


The Carbonton Dam in 1923


Thompson (1848) says that Peter Evan’s 3 foot high mill dam had recently been rebuilt at the time of his report. The Cape Fear and Deep River Navigation Company raised the dam to five feet in height and added a lock. Although the Navigation Company completed the lock and dam here, the work was soon deemed inadequate. Hadley found no evidence that this lock was ever used. Though the Navigation Company's plans had called for the works to extend as far as Hancock's Mill (mile ), they soon realized that there would be little market for trade above the Egypt Mine, making this lock and dam and the one at Gulf irrelevant.


Stewart’s Mill is shown here by Ramsey (1870). This is shown by Hadley (1991) as JR and AJ Jones Mill, and Swain (1899) calls it the Carbonton Dam, saying that the partly plank and partly rock crib dam powered a gristmill, a sawmill and a cotton gin in 1899.


A hydroelectric plant was built here in the 1920’s, but the 15 foot tall dam was dismantled in 2005 in an effort to restore the Deep River. There is a good picture of this dam in Campbell (1923). The old dam site makes for a nice class 1 rapid and the former powerhouse still looms above.


I have paddled from here to US 15-501.

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