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Then and Now, Feb. 7, 2024

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On Nov. 26, 1934, Governor Stanley Wilson and Mayor Perry Merrill dedicated this flood control dam on the Winooski River next to the Main Street Bridge. Built with hand labor by the Civilian Conservation Corps on the site of an historic wooden crib dam, the new dam was part of the state’s flood control efforts following the 1927 flood. The dam spanned the river from the E.W. Bailey grain elevator on the north bank (demolished in 1965) to the U.S. Clothespin factory on the south bank (not visible). (The building in the background is that of the old National Spring Clip Company, demolished sometime before 1962.) The dam featured seven moveable steel gates that doubled the amount of water that could be stored behind the dam. In 1975 the “troublesome” gates and concrete piers were removed and the dam capped four feet lower than the 1934 dam, creating the appearance of today’s dam.

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