Trail Marker #7  - 1840's Factory Dam (1st Dam in Elkin)

As the Big Elkin Creek originates in the foothills of the mountains just above Thurmond, it carries a large volume of water over through more than a 2000* foot drop in elevation and multiple waterfalls. The energy and force of this water was a primary interest of Richard Gwyn, Elkin’s founding father. 

Factories were built near the dam as a means of harnessing the force and supplying power to local mills such as the original grist mill and later the Elkin Shoe Factory.  This dam predates the current dam at the Elkin Library.  It was located approximately where the Market Street Bridge leads up Elk Spur Street today.  The flume, which carried water to the Elkin Manufacturing Company is shown on the right of the picture. 

 

* The video states "400 foot drop", but the actual drop is approximately 2000 feet.