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2014-11-13 08.50.39.jpg

Azure Mountain Power

Lake Ozonia. A reward for getting back to camp from the site before dark.

Allis-Chalmers excitation unit on the number one generator, 1917.

The old dam after the partial washout, April 2014.

Pulling the sheet piling from the coffer dam.

Down in the turbine pit, preparing to adjust the wooden bearings on the number one machine.

Inside the power house.

Super safe.

Everett driving the crane, early morning.

The rock coffer dam diverted water from the work site and made a spot for the crane, which picked logs from shore and set them in place.

In the 1990s, my family built a hydroelectric power station using 1910s machinery adjacent to an existing timber crib dam in St Regis Falls, NY. In 2014, the old dam failed and we built a new one in its place. It is a timber crib structure 110' long, 24' wide and 16' tall, built of over 500 logs and 800 tons of rock. We did this ourselves, with the help of a local crew of carpenters.

Water spills over the completed dam for the first time.

Hand fitting the flashboard knee-braces.

Hand fitting the flashboard knee-braces.

My uncle Matt, left, and my father Everett. I am continually amazed by them.

Long before electricity, the dam was used for sawmill machinery. We found a lot of old pieces of iron, including this bearing casing.

The family camp, where we stayed throughout the project.

I spent a lot of time driving the tractor.

Exciter rings inside the number two machine, a 1917 Leffel.

Temporary flashboards on the washed out dam, which got us through the summer.

The front door.

The crane sets a log with direction from the crew. 

The reservoir at dawn from on top of the power house.

The completed dam, decked.

Driving the tractor on the dam in the snow.

The completed dam, from the roof of the powerhouse.

Our crew: Bob, Dar, Rodney, Jack, Mike.

Boating upstream of the coffer dam, preparing to pull the blue membrane at the end of the job.

We often arrived before dawn, and worked until dark. I don't remember which this was.