top of page

All Posts

  • millinockethistsoc

Edgar Prouty's Report on Dams

Odds and Ends From The MUSEUM!


            Edgar W. Prouty, GNP engineer, inspected all the dams on the West Branch during the summer of 1936. Titled “Report of Storage Dams Particularly Small Ponds on West Branch of Penobscot River, it details twenty-nine dams. Included are a brief description of each along with a sketch or plan (with notes) and one or more photos. They are arranged “in the order they occur in the watershed, starting at the headwaters of the several branches and following down to where they join the West Branch.” The purpose of the inspection was to determine the amount of water storage available.

            A chart summarizes Prouty’s findings. It includes square miles of drainage area, storage capacity, date dam was built, its condition and more. The oldest listed is North Twin Dam in Indian Purchase #3, constructed 1903-04, concrete, in fine condition. The first dam there was a timber dam built of heavy pine logs for driving pine to the sawmills around Old Town and Bangor

Examples from the chart: Ragged Lake Dam constructed 1920 is listed as rotten.  Another, Sourdnahunk Lake Dam, built 1928 on site of an earlier driving dam, Prouty describes as having “long crib work wings now buried in earth.”  Others in this report are: Dole Pond, Loon Lake, Hurricane, Shallow Lake and Yoke Pond. This report is a great reference and is interesting even to those not experts on this subject. The photos included are very crisp and clear.

At Millinocket Lake, the original timber dam (mid-1800’s) was constructed by the Penobscot Log Driving Company. Prouty describes the “present” dam constructed 1909-10 as having a concrete gate section and spillway, a long earth embankment with a four-foot diaphragm of plank at its center. In 1932, wooden gates were replaced with steel gates. The report states that Millinocket Lake is 14 square miles, stores 2940 million cubic feet of water, has an eight-foot draw-down, but holds eleven feet of water. 

Millinocket Lake Dam is in Township 1, Range 8 on GNP land and partly on the estate of Garret Schenck. The original dam was of timber and located 500 feet upstream from the dam Prouty was inspecting.

The museum also has a large number of color and black and white aerial photos of dams in the West Branch watershed. Many are dated 1982 and were taken by Roger Boynton who was with Wes Nash documenting the dams for a report. The colorful foliage makes a backdrop for the dams. The black and white photos are mostly from the 1970’s. These photos include the dams at: Canada Falls, Dolby, Long Pond, Mattaceunk, Ripogenus, Seboomook and more. 

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page