It’s drawdown season for dam owner in Antrim

  • Walter Neff drains the mill pond on Main Street to conduct maintenance on the dam. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Walter Neff drains the mill pond on Main Street to conduct maintenance on the dam. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton—

  • Walter Neff drains his mill pond so he can work on the dam along Main Street in Antrim on Wednesday. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/5/2019 10:49:18 AM
Modified: 9/5/2019 10:49:08 AM

Walter Neff has owned the dam at the corner of Main Street and High Street in Antrim for ten years. On Wednesday he was drawing the water all the way down, taking advantage of the seasonally low stream flow to fix a leak in the dam.

Neff said he pours environmentally friendly bentonite clay particles into cracks in the structure, where they expand in the water and seal.

Neff said the dam and adjacent mill were built 150 years ago, and it was important to him to maintain the historic appearance of the place. He said he’s had to maintenance the dam annually for the decade he’s owned it, and periodically dredges out the debris and silt as well.

“It’s kind of fun to have a pond,” he said, also noting that it’s also a lot of work and expense.

He said he periodically sees tall, white, whooping cranes in the pond as they pass through on their migration, otters, and once shoveled a living snapping turtle “as big as this wheel!” off Route 202 and onto the bank of the pond. 


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