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BEG: Bangor Waterworks Building
~Dam & Slipway~
The ruined dam, and slipway of the Waterworks is best seen at low tide. The slipway is on the other side of the river from the main buildings and part of the dam remains on the Bangor side. We have not yet explored the remains of the dam on the Bangor side, but it mostly seems to be large criss-crossed wooden timbers with the holes filled with dirt, and perhaps once reinforced with iron bars set into cement.

The slipway it's self is not very interesting... just a dry 10-15' high cement embankment. It was the two larger structures on either end that got our attention and drew us to the spot for possible exploration. We've been told the structures are fish ladders, built so the local river fish could get to one side of the dam or the other. One of the "ladders" is for fish going up streem. The other is for fish going downstreem.

Photo of the slipway and upstream-fish-ladder structure, with the Waterworks building across the river in the background.

Photo of the slipway and downstream-fish-ladder the previous picture was taken while standing on.

The Upstream Ladder is on the end of the slipway closest to the middle of the river. This "ladder" is made up of a 2X6 gridlock of square rooms, each measuring about 6 to 8 feet on each side, with floors and dividing walls that get higher as you move further upstream (the pictures below should give you a better idea). The last room ends with a short passage leading to a hole in the wall which once had a floodgate in place (no leads to the mostly dry area behind the slipway). The upper portions of the ladder no longer floods at low tide and at a meduim tide we had to use a canoe to enter the lower area of the ladder. It was flooded about three rooms in before there were dry areas to walk on. On the river-side of the ladder, on the outside of the cement structure is a cave-like hole that once held part of the dam. We only paddled into it about 15 feet and decided to leave because of the lowering tide (did not want to get stuck on debree), loose rocks in the cieling, and an agressive territorial river otter. At low tides the water flowing over the dam becomes quite rough and there are many parts of the dam that remain just below the surface, waiting to capsize a canoe or small boat. Accesable from the top of the slipway are the stubs of what were once step irons. These go about 15 feet to the top of the fish ladder, where there seems to be the remains of what was once a mechanism for raising and lowering this ladder's floodgate.

Photo looking into the lower end of the upstream fish ladder.

Photo looking further up into the "ladder". The chambers would once have held pools of water, each one elevated slightly higher than the previous, so a fish could jump from pool to pool to make it up past the dam.

Photo from the passage at the top of the "ladder", looking down towards the chamber. Right behind this is the remains of the flood gate.

Photo of the top end of the fish ladder from the outside. The square hole leads to the passage in the previous picture, the gaping hole in the side leads to the area shown in the next picture.

Photo from inside the cave/hole left in the side of the ladder after the dam was removed. The brown lump in the water, near the center and slightly to the right side, is a river otter giving our photographer the hairy eyeball.

The down stream fish ladder is at the other end of the slipway, the end not pointing towards the river. This one is a long, zigzagging open roofed-passage with only a slight grade. The floor seems to be of mud and dirt, the wettest being towards the lower end, settled onto the original concrete floor. Along the length of the "ladder" are several sets of step irons, so it easy to climb out and walk along the tops of the walls. There is a platform of metal grating at the top end of the ladder, with a small room and the old floodgate below that.

Photo of the zigzagging passage, from the metal-grate-platform at the top.

Photo of the room and part of the floodgate at the top end of the zigzagging passage.

Photo of the same as above, but from a different angle. Step irons can be seen on part of the far wall.

Photo looking up the passage from the lower end of the "ladder". Several sets of step irons are visable in this picture.

Outside & Courtyard
Main Floor
Second Floor
The Attic
Basements & Tunnels
~Dam & Slipway~
Waterworks Index

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