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Old 12-30-2019, 08:58 PM   #1
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Taylor Pond history/info

Anyone know of any old history of Taylor Pond in Black Brook/Clinton County and any families who lived there?
And when did the state take control of it?
Do any old topos show buildings/homes on it?
When was it dammed?
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:43 PM   #2
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Looking at the Clinton County tax maps, the lake is surrounded by large parcels of state land. This would seem to preclude any chance that there had ever been any significant number of private homes on or near the lake, with the possible exception of squatters. In contrast, if you look at Silver Lake to the north, the shoreline has been extensively subdivided.

It's also possible that there may have been lease camps if/when the land was privately owned.

I was hoping to find information on the Clinton County website indicating when the state came into possession of the land surrounding the lake, but that information seems to be missing from the tax records- which means that it may just pre-date what information has been entered into digital records.

Looking at historic USGS quads from over the years via ESRI's interactive historic topo map explorer, the 1895 topo map seems to pre-date the modern dam, showing a much smaller lake- although there does appear to have been a dam on the outlet nonetheless. The map doesn't show any buildings on the lake, but it does show a road along part of the south shore.

The 1953 map shows the current lake size, so presumably the lake was dammed to it's current extent some time between 1895 and 1953. Still no buildings on the lake.

The campground doesn't show up until the 1986 map.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:24 PM   #3
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Great info, thanks DS. I was hoping you'd answer-you are a wealth of knowledge of knowing where to look.
There must've been one farm/home [Taylor's?] there anyway, because I know where a chimney still stands and debris lies but no sign of the house so I guess that rotted away a long time ago.
I discovered all that after bumping into an old and very overgrown apple orchard, where many apple trees exist in the forest someone once lived as sure as finding a cellar or foundation.
I wondered why it was damned? Isn't much flowage for logging.
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Old 12-31-2019, 10:06 AM   #4
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In an 1896 book, "Leading Citizens of Essex and Clinton County," there is a listing for a James Monroe Sheffield, born in 1857 in the hamlet of Taylor Pond Mill in Black Brook Township. His father is described as having worked at the Taylor Pond saw mill.

I would assume from that that the original dam was built to float logs to the sawmill, and for log sorting. The site of the mill is probably now submerged from flooding by the new dam. The current dam was built in 1925 by J & J Rogers to bulk up the supply of water for their power plant downstream at Ausable Chasm.

The state bought the pond and the adjoining acreage in 1964 and the dam in 1983.

I've spent some time around Taylor Pond, but mostly around Union Falls Pond where we had a camp from the 1970s to 2006. Old farms abounded in that area along the Saranac River prior to building that dam.

There were also a few charcoal kilns there. The state's management plan has some of this info:

Last edited by Muddy Creek; 12-31-2019 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 12-31-2019, 12:01 PM   #5
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Thanks Muddy. We had a cabin [leased] on Franklin Falls Pond and a house on a dead end road above the falls, while friends who lived nearby had a camp on Union Falls. We've also climbed/hiked/hunted Catamount extensively, used Taylor Pond, lived in Wilmington and Black Brook and knew and interviewed Wilfred Lahart of the Forestdale Road, so I am familiar with much in that area but also always intrigued with new.
I appreciate your info.
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:42 PM   #6
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If I remember correctly, the outlet of Taylor Pond was dammed by the J&J Rogers Paper company based in Ausable Forks. It raised the level of the impoundment by about eight feet. Union Falls and Franklin falls were created by dams on the Saranac River.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:59 PM   #7
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Union Falls dam and Franklin Falls dam were built by Paul Smith, The latter one first. Flooded was State Lands so the State took Paul to Court but being so influential with powerful, rich friends he won so he then built the UF Dam. The state did not sue him again.
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