Monthly Archives: February 2015

Orrington Waterways

Edited work by Lois-Ann Holmes, formerly of South Orrington, April 2011.

Clark Falls on Johnson Mill Road, Orrington, Maine

The Clark Falls location is documented back to 1839, when a member of the Freeman family built a flour mill at this site. This mill did not prove successful.

In 1850, Vinal Cooper took over this mill site and operated what was probably the first paper mill in the area. The mill made paper from rags, not wood pulp. Rag paper is superior but cannot be produced in large quantities. The mill was still operating in 1860.

Sometime after that date, the paper mill burned. Vinal Cooper replaced the mill with a shingle mill which the Johnson Brothers took over after 1880 and converted to sawing barrel headers. They also added a gristmill and cider mill to the operation.

The 1900s arrived with automobiles and electricity; there was a decline of industry in town. As of the 1920s, there seems to be no findable record of this mill. There also seems to be no record of the destruction of the buildings which must have been on this site.

The site has plenty of remnants of the old mill with some concrete footings, stone foundation remnants, etc.

For a video of Clark Falls, see the OHS Facebook page.

Walin’tuk Creek from Swetts Pond to the Penobscot River, Orrington, Maine

Another waterway connected to Clark Falls spills into the Penboscot River at the boat landing in South Orrington.  It is Walin’tuk Creek.  Located in a historic area of Orrington, the name of this creek is now Mill Creek. If one looks upstream, visible are the footings where an old mill used to rest.

If you were to follow that stream back from the Penobscot to its origin, you would be at Swetts Pond by the dam.  From Swetts Pond the stream meanders down along Dow Road, crosses under the road, crosses below the dead end of Stump Lane, coming down along Clarks Falls Road, going under Johnson Mill Road, over the Clark Falls, meandering some more along Johnson Mill Road, and crossing under Rt. 15 by the railroad tracks near Quarry Road on its way to the Penobscot.  In fact, were the concrete and earthen Swetts Pond Dam to breech, this is the flood plain it would affect as has happened twice due to beaver.

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