Green River Crib Dam

Guilford, Vermont
The Green River Crib Dam, nestled in western Guilford, Vermont, stands as a historical gem from the 19th century, proudly perched on the Green River.
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About This Location

The Green River Crib Dam, nestled in western Guilford, Vermont, stands as a historical gem from the 19th century, proudly perched on the Green River. This remarkable structure holds the distinction of being one of the few surviving crib dams in the state, bearing witness to the region’s industrial past.

Records trace the existence of a dam at this location back to 1811, when Jonah Cutting was operating a paper and linseed oil mill on this very property. Some of the materials used in the construction of the current dam are believed to date from this early period. By 1856, the mill had transitioned exclusively to papermaking. However, a catastrophic flood in 1869 wreaked havoc on the mill and the dam, rendering them beyond repair. The ensuing deluge even washed out a bridge located downstream.

In 1871, Henry Stowe erected a lumber and grain mill on this site, which remained operational until a devastating fire reduced it to ashes in 1918. This mill was part of the site’s industrial evolution, adding another layer to its historical significance.

The Green River Crib Dam is strategically positioned just upstream of the iconic Green River Covered Bridge, an enchanting landmark that spans the Green River at the intersection of Green River Road and Jacksonville Stage Road. The bridge’s proximity to other historic sites, such as the Green River Bridge House, The Red Barn, and the Green River Church, makes this area a treasure trove of history.

The dam itself is constructed in a semi-circular fashion, with an open downstream side, stretching approximately 110 feet in length and reaching a maximum height of 10.5 feet. Its composition primarily consists of logs and rubble, with plank facing. The dam’s abutments have been reconstructed using stone and concrete, ensuring its stability and longevity.

Over time, the dam had succumbed to erosion and suffered severe damage from a substantial spring ice flow in 1996. After years of negotiations with the state of Vermont, a plan was devised that incorporated a fish passage system into the project. The establishment of the Green River Village Preservation Trust in 1998 marked a turning point in the dam’s restoration journey. Funds for the reconstruction were gathered through grants and contributions from concerned residents. In 1999, the dam and fishway were meticulously reconstructed, adhering closely to the original design.

Today, the Green River Crib Dam, with its adjacent mill pond, attracts a steady stream of photographers, painters, history enthusiasts, and visitors who come to soak in its historical ambiance. It serves as the centerpiece of the charming Green River village, preserving the memory of its modest industrial past. The recognition of its historical significance culminated in its listing on the National Register of Historic Places on April 7, 1995, ensuring that this architectural treasure continues to captivate and inspire generations to come. It’s reference number is 95000374.

Location

Address: Green River Road, Guilford, Vermont
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.775677, -72.667435
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.775677, -72.667435
Parking Notes: There is no official parking area for visiting the dam, but most people park along Green River Road or River Road.

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