Pepperell Mill canal, Biddeford, 2017


Saco Water Power Company built the underground tube-shaped canal around 1848.

The canal conducted rushing water from the upper lagoon under mill building #10 and discharged the water above the turbines in the cellar of mill building #3. As the water passed through the vanes of the turbine, it caused the vertical shaft to rotate, which in turn was connected through gearing or belts to the machinery in the mill.

After passing through the turbine, the water dropped to the lower canal and was conducted to the lower lagoon, where gravity fed the water back to the Saco River.

Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.