The Green River Crib Dam, located in western Guilford, Vermont, is a historic 19th-century dam on the Green River. It is one of the few surviving crib dams in the state.
The first documented evidence of a dam on this site dates from 1811 when Jonah Cutting was reported to be operating a paper and linseed oil mill on the property. Some of the current dam’s materials are believed to be from the early 1800s time period. The mill was exclusively operated for papermaking by 1856, according to the historical records. A massive flood in 1869 allegedly destroyed the mill beyond repair, as well as the dam, and washed out the bridge that was close downstream. On the site, Henry Stowe built a lumber and grain mill in 1871, which lasted until 1918, when it was destroyed by fire.
The dam sits just upstream of the Green River Covered Bridge, which spans the Green River at the Green River Road/Jacksonville Stage Road intersection. The Green River Bridge House, The Red Barn, and the Green River Church are all nearby. The dam crosses the river in a semicircle open to the downstream side and it is roughly 110 feet long with a maximum height of 10.5 feet. The dam is largely made of logs and rubble, with plank facing. The dam’s abutments are now made of stone and concrete.
The dam eroded over time and was severely damaged by a big spring ice flow in 1996. After years of permitting negotiations with the state of Vermont, a solution was reached in which a fish passage system would be built into the project. The Green River Village Preservation Trust was established in 1998, and money for the reconstruction was gathered through grants and contributions from concerned residents. The dam and fishway were built in 1999, with the original design being followed as closely as feasible. The Green River Village Preservation Trust is in charge of maintaining the dam and mill pond. Photographers, painters, history fans, and visitors flock to the dam and mill pond, as well as the nearby covered bridge.
The dam is the centerpiece of a picturesque section of the small Green River village and a lovely reminder of its modest industrial past. The Green River Crib Dam was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
Looking for more great spots to explore nearby? Check out the GoXplr Vermont Map at goxplr.com/map/vermont!
- Opened: 1811
- Original function: Dam
- Architect(s): Unknown
- Year added to NRHP: 1995
- NRHP number: 95000374
- Status: Public
- Admission cost: Free
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