Splash Dam Video

T

troutbert

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,693

Splash damming to transport logs was common on PA streams around the mid to late 1800s.

This video isn't from PA, but it shows a splash dam and log drive in operation.

You can see the remains of old splash dams in many places in the forests of PA.

The narrator describes how streams were altered to prepare for the log drive. You can still see in many places in PA the impacts of that on the streams.
 
Pretty cool! What a lot of prep! You wonder if a fish population would survive that!
 
Pretty cool! What a lot of prep! You wonder if a fish population would survive that!
I always wondered about that. I'm sure some fish didn't survive the water/log blast.

Here's a real old pic of a splash dam, which I think was in Pa. Not sure though. I don't recall where I got it. TB, do you recognize this old pic?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2426.JPEG
    IMG_2426.JPEG
    254.3 KB · Views: 34
Last edited:
I always wondered about that. I'm sure some fish didn't survive the water/log blast.

Here's a real old pic of a splash dam, which I think was in Pa. Not sure though. I don't recall where I got it. TB, do you recognize this old pic?
I have seen that picture before. I have a vague memory that it's from somewhere in Potter County, but I'm not sure.
 
Man - talk about scouring the stream bed!
 
Between the clear cutting of lumber and prop timber, the splash dams scouring the stream bottom, and the forest fires that came after word. there is no wonder there were fewer then 100 dear and very few trout around the turn of the 20th century. Both the game and fish commission tocked
 
Thanks! I include splash dams in one of my history lessons. This will be a great addition!
 

This link has photos and descriptions of the splash dam on Eddy Lick Run in Sproul State Forest. This is the most intact splash dam I've seen.
 

This link has photos and descriptions of the splash dam on Eddy Lick Run in Sproul State Forest. This is the most intact splash dam I've seen.
Very cool! Some of them were quite elaborate.
 

This link has photos and descriptions of the splash dam on Eddy Lick Run in Sproul State Forest. This is the most intact splash dam I've seen.
Thanks for that!! Our hunting camp is right up the trail. Beautiful and remote.
 

This link has photos and descriptions of the splash dam on Eddy Lick Run in Sproul State Forest. This is the most intact splash dam I've seen.

This area is on my agenda for a BP/FF expedition in 2023. This only adds to the allure.
 
They used the same principle with some of the locks on the Lehigh River Canal.
Called them Bear Trap Locks.

Instead of having two gates to raise or lower the boats to the next level, they just had one.
After filling the pool behind the dam, they opened the gates similarly, to let the boats ride a surge of water down to the next level.
Of course it was a one way ride, unlike with traditional canal locks
 

Splash damming to transport logs was common on PA streams around the mid to late 1800s.

This video isn't from PA, but it shows a splash dam and log drive in operation.

You can see the remains of old splash dams in many places in the forests of PA.

The narrator describes how streams were altered to prepare for the log drive. You can still see in many places in PA the impacts of that on the streams.
That was a very good video. I'm sure a lot of people lost their lives doing that job. Lots of history with how lumbering ruled the landscape for decades.

It's also where the term skid row comes from. Those people that lived along the logging skids live on skid row.
 

Splash damming to transport logs was common on PA streams around the mid to late 1800s.

This video isn't from PA, but it shows a splash dam and log drive in operation.

You can see the remains of old splash dams in many places in the forests of PA.

The narrator describes how streams were altered to prepare for the log drive. You can still see in many places in PA the impacts of that on the streams.
Great video. Reminds me of a song about this profession.

 
That was a very good video. I'm sure a lot of people lost their lives doing that job. Lots of history with how lumbering ruled the landscape for decades.

It's also where the term skid row comes from. Those people that lived along the logging skids live on skid row.
I always wondered where the phrase "skid row" came from. I did know it was undesirable.
 
I always wondered where the phrase "skid row" came from. I did know it was undesirable.
I have been fascinated with the origins of terms like that and others. Sideburns come from General Burnside, Hookers come from the girls that followed General Hookers troops, just to name a couple. There are plenty. If you think about it every word or term we use has origins, I find it interesting that we use so many today that originated within the last two hundred years and we all forget them over time.
 
You can see remains of splash dams in many places on our forested streams, if you keep an eye out for them.

But most are not nearly as intact as the one on Eddylick Run. So it's easy to miss them.

Look for openings in the forest along the streams. Sometimes those are caused by beaver dams. But often if you go to the downstream end of the opening, you will see timbers and rocks that were part of the dam. And sometimes a bit remaining of the earthen dam near the banks.

And often you can see the legacy sediment built up on the floodplain above the dam, but not below the dam.

There were 2 splash dams on upper Kettle Creek. The one was below the confluence of Sliders Branch. The other was about 1 1/2 miles above that.
 
Guess skid row is similar to the "other side of the tracks"?
 
Back
Top