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Tannery falls - Edwards

Posted by Bill Hill,
North Country explorer from Edwards NY
January 10, 2017

This is the part of town referred to as the "island" in Edwards. It was the first part to be settled around 1812, and was on the Russell turnpike .The Russell turnpike was built for use by the military to move troops and supplies between Sackets Harbor and Plattsburgh. The Oswegatchie river splits and made the small island, with a gristmill on the side branch, and a sawmill on the main flow, both powered by water. The gristmill was last used as a private residence until sometime in the early 80s, when it burned. There is still many pieces of the mills iron gears and such visible today, along with a massive stone wall. The pond below was used as a mill pond, holding logs that were transported by floating them down the river. They would be kept from drying out until they were ready to be sawed at the sawmill. The name "Tannery falls", came from the leather tannery a short distance from the gristmill. Tanning hides was an essential industry for a community in those days, with leather being used in many applications, such as harnesses for horses & wagons, shoes, clothing and belting to run the mill's shafts. Hemlock bark was used extensively for this, because of it's high tannin content. The pond has always been a favorite fishing spot, even in the winter. There are only few buildings, and two homes left on the island today. Not much to see anymore, but these few artifacts still stand as a reminder of days past. For more information on the area, see the link below............................................... http://www.edwardshistory.org/index.htm