Laurel Harnessed the River to Power the Cotton Mill

Laurel Harnessed the River to Power the Cotton Mill (HM1IY0)

Location: Laurel, MD 20707 Prince George's County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 6.623', W 76° 51.49'

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Riverfront Park Heritage & Nature Trauil

Laurel's earliest mill was established on land originally inhabited by Native Americans. The early mills were located on the banks of the Patuxent River at the fall line. Here the River elevation changes and provided an excellent source of water power.

A Massive Dam and Mill Race

A massive dam built in 1850 controlled the Patuxent River's flow in order to supply water to the Laurel Cotton Mill. According to newspaper reports in 1855 the dam measured 222 feet wide and 27 feet tall. A canal on the south bank, called the mill race, ran about 600 feet and directed water into the mill.

Wooden doors in the large sluice gate across the channel were used to control the flow of water. These would be opened or closed depending upon the power needed. Water flowed from the race or canal to the mill where it powered two overshot wheels and later a large Boyden Turbine before flowing back into the river. The dam was frequently in need of repairs. Most of the dam was blown up on the 1940s.
HM NumberHM1IY0
Placed ByCity of Laurel Department of Parks and Recrecation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 9:02am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 339342 N 4330669
Decimal Degrees39.11038333, -76.85816667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 6.623', W 76° 51.49'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 6' 37.38" N, 76° 51' 29.4" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)240, 301, 410
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 901 Main St, Laurel MD 20707, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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