On-line Walking Tour/ Browns RacePrevious | Home | Next
Browns Race, the power canal, was constructed in 1815.
Today, a street called Browns Race follows the old raceway. Diverting
water from a point about 500 feet south of High Falls, the raceway was
1221 feet long (later extended), 30-feet wide and five-and-a-half feet
deep. Even before the race was completed, a cotton mill was constructed
at a location which was once called Browns Island (north side of Commercial
Street and east of the remaining raceway). Spillways funneled water from
the race through the mills. Mill lots between the race and the gorge each
had the right to a certain amount of water from the race. All buildings
on the east side of the race were reached via foot bridges; overhead shafts
transmitted power to the west side of the race and to the buildings which
fronted on Mill Street. Eventually the race was covered by a wooden plank
roadway. In 1991-92 portions of the original Browns Race were uncovered;
concrete planks delineate the original width of the raceway.