Tallassee Shoals XIV: Turtles   Leave a comment

Above:  A Turtle Just Outside Ben Burton Park, October 24, 2017

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

Turtles interest me; simply watching them is pleasurable.  On occasion I photograph them as they go about their turtle lives.

On October 24, 2017, as I was about to enter Ben Burton via a back route (marked as a jeep trail on the diagram in this entry), I noticed a turtle in my vicinity.  He went on his way and I sent on mine.

Above:  Turtles on a Rock in the Middle Oconee River, October 31, 2017

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Larger turtles sun themselves on rocks in the Middle Oconee River, beside Ben Burton Park.  Photographing them can prove tricky, for turtles frequently return to the water if one has to walk through leaves to get close enough to the river bank to get a good view.  I get to observe the river turtles frequently, though.  That is fortunate.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals XIII: Small Waterfall   Leave a comment

Above:  A Portion of Poss Creek, Ben Burton Park, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, October 29, 2017

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

As one enters Ben Burton Park in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, one crosses a bridge that spans Poss Creek, which flows into the Middle Oconee River.  The creek, with water flowing over exposed rocks, is lovely.  Small waterfalls are among the features of this creek.

The creek was part of the former Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility, which was operational from 1902 to 1960.  I wonder what the creek looked like then, especially given the fact that remnants of that hydroelectric facility surround it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals XII: Stone Corner   Leave a comment

All Images Dated November 9, 2017

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

Just beyond the entrance to Ben Burton Park and in the vicinity of Poss Creed one sees this stone corner, a lovely sight indeed.  Today the general public gets to enjoy the area.  I wonder what purpose the area served between 1902 and 1960, when the Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility was operational.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals XI: Low Stone Wall   Leave a comment

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor, November 9, 2017

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

From Ben Burton Park, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, stone walls inside the woods are visible.  Consider the photographs in this post, O reader.  The geographical point of reference for the camera is on the beaten path in the park.

To the north of this wall is another stone wall, one that is uneven and that follows the landscape.

Such remnants of the Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility, operational from 1902 to 1960, prompt me to wonder what this site looked like prior to 1960.  Some old photographs (all of which I have included in previous posts in this series) provide some clues, but they do not depict these walls.  That set of old photographs leaves many sights to my imagination.

We know that nature takes over quickly when people cease to maintain structures.  The photographs in this post show the results of 47 years of nature taking over.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals X: Headrace Gates   Leave a comment

All Photographs Dated October 24, 2017

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

As one walks in Ben Burton Park, Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, one cannot help but notice woods.  A trail emerging from those woods is evident from the beaten path in the park.  If one walks up that path toward the clearing, one finds some artificial structures, which, according to the diagram in this entry, are the ruins of headrace gates.

Time and nature have not been kind.

Notice the trash can in the background.  That object indicates how close to the park this structure is.

Adjacent to this structure is another one.

In the immediate area I also saw concrete obscured by leaves.

I wonder what used to sit atop the concrete.

I also wonder what this area looked like prior to 1960, when the Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility closed.  The set of photographs at the Library of Congress does not answer that question.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 16, 2017 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals IX: Stone Structure   Leave a comment

All Photographs Dated November 9, 2017

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

I, as a historian, like old objects.  I wonder how old the ruins of the object photographed above and below are.  I also wonder what function it served.  I know that the former Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility in Athens, Georgia, operational from 1902 to 1960, went through an additional phase of construction in 1926 and 1927.  I therefore hypothesize that the structure photographed above and below is about a century old, give or take a few years.  Its purpose remains unclear to me, however.  Am I looking at the ruin of a headrace gate?  That is one possibility, given the diagram (from this entry) I have been studying.

The location of this object is just inside the woods, adjacent to the wide clearing that runs from the side of Friendship Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to Ben Burton Park.  One can find and study a satellite view of the area easily at Google Earth.  When I walk to the Middle Oconee River, I prefer to take one of several back routes, not to use sidewalks and walk beside Mitchell Bridge Road.  No, I like to take Chalfont Lane, go through a cul-de-sac, and either take a left turn onto a trail that leads to Ben Burton Park or to walk straight into the clearing and toward the river and, more precisely, the site where the dam was.  As I enter the woods that way, I pass to the right of this structure in the woods.

Smaller stone structures mark corners.  The taller structure rises in the center.

The past entices me.

What did this structure look like in its prime?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 15, 2017 COMMON ERA

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Tallassee Shoals VIII: Foundation Structure   Leave a comment

Above:  Three-Quarter View of Foundation Structure on the West Side of the Dam

Historic American Engineering Record, Creator, Jerrald A Moore, and Betty A Smith. Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility, Middle Oconee River, Athens, Clarke County, GA. Athens Clarke County Georgia, 1968. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ga0489/. (Accessed November 15, 2017.)

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This post is part of a series that began with this entry.

This foundation structure, which, to the best of knowledge, no longer exists, was on the side of the Middle Oconee River north of and across from Ben Burton Park.

Above:  Frontal View of Foundation Structure on the West Side of the Dam

Historic American Engineering Record, Creator, Jerrald A Moore, and Betty A Smith. Tallassee Shoals Hydroelectric Facility, Middle Oconee River, Athens, Clarke County, GA. Athens Clarke County Georgia, 1968. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ga0489/. (Accessed November 15, 2017.)

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 15, 2017 COMMON ERA

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