Investigations into

The Historic
Mill Dams on the Chattahoochee River

Columbus, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama

Research findings

What did we find when the dams were breached?

Before the breaching of the historic stone masonry dams of the Eagle and Phenix Mill on March 20, 2012 and City Mills a year later on March 11, 2013, Southern Research consulted with a team of divers from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team (from LaFayette, Alabama) to take a look at what was behind the stone dams. We also worked with maritime archaeologists at SEARCH, Inc. to complete side scan sonar and yet another team at Landair Surveying Company of Roswell, Georgia for a complete digital scan…

Click here to read more

The historical record

Who built the dams?

Various dams were built in the Columbus area along a two and a half mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River due to a drop in elevation of 124 feet. This drop in elevation is due to the river crossing the lower piedmont hills before meeting the flat coastal plain. This transition from the piedmont to the coastal plain is called the Fall Line and creates a tremendous potential…

Click here to read more

The Chattahoochee over time

Lifecycle of water and man

The various ways people have used and enjoyed the Chattahoochee River have certainly evolved over time. Once the British established Georgia as its 13th colony, it served as a buffer between South Carolina and the Spanish located in modern day Florida. Before Europeans began exploring and settling in Georgia, Native American Indians had made the area their home for thousands of years. Rivers were an essential part of life for the Indians and for Indians living near the Chattahoochee, it provided them with…

Click here to read more