LeRoy Pennysaver & News - page 11

There’s a lot of LeRoy in Mt.
Morris - literally. In 1948, when
construction began on the Mt.
Morris dam, it was General
Crushed Stone in LeRoy who
had thecontract for supplying the
crushed limestone.Thisaggregate,
as it iscalled,wasmixedwithsand
and cement to create thedam. By
the time it was finished, the dam
was 246 feet high, 221 feet thick
at the base, and 1,026 feet long.
It required 330,000 tons of sand,
2,443,000 bags of cement and
1,087,500 of crushed limestone
For threeyears, thecementwas
ceptduring thewinter.Thecement
was mixed on site and poured
into 8-cubic-yard buckets that
weighed22 tonseach.Thebuckets
were swung across the canyon at
intervals of about one every five
minutes, to fill the huge forms.
In order to meet the demand,
General Crushed Stone installed
a largercrusher.GeorgeSchaefer,
who was the general manager at
General Crushed Stone, reported
to the Rochester Rotary Club,
that to keep up with production,
3,500 tonsof limestonewasbeing
trucked toMt.Morriseachday–a
distance of 52miles round trip.
When the damwas finished in
1952, it was the fourth highest
dam east of theMississippi Riv-
er. It cost $19,800,000 and came
in $400,000 under budget. At its
peak construction, 470menwere
working at the dam construction
site. The last bucket of concrete
was pouredonOctober 31, 1952.
Mt. Morris Dam is under the
Buffalo District of the United
StatesArmyCorpsof Engineers.
In 1775, when the Continental
Congress organized the Conti-
nental Army, it included a chief
engineer to provide engineering
services to General Washington.
In 1779, a separate Corps of
Engineers was created for the
Continental Army and one of its
first assignments was to build
fortifications nearBoston.
After the war, and the dissolu-
tion of the Continental Army, it
wasn’t until 1802 that President
Thomas Jefferson created the
Corps of Engineers, which was
stationed at West Point. The su-
perintendent of West Point was
always an engineer officer until
1866. In fact, during thefirst half
of the 19th century, West Point
was the only engineering school
in the country.
In1824, theGeneralSurveyAct
authorized theArmyCorpsofEn-
gineers to survey roads and canal
routes, and Congress approved a
billgiving theCorps the responsi-
bility to improve thenavigationof
the Ohio andMississippi Rivers.
It was also in 1824, when Capt.
Theodore Maurice was assigned
to the Buffalo District to super-
vise operations onLakeErie, but
supervisionof theBuffaloDistrict
was based at West Point, where
it remained until 1857, when a
permanent officewas established
in Buffalo. Today the Buffalo
District covers 38,000 square
miles fromMessena, New York
toToledo, Ohio, and includes six
In 1952, Bassett’s Art Shop in
Perry published a photo book of
the dam construction. Although
the reprints of the photos are not
particularly clear, as you can see,
it is a great documentation of the
work. I don’t know if any men
from LeRoy worked at the dam
site, but certainly the men who
between 1948 and 1952 and the
menwhoworked forDewitt,who
drove the trucks, contributed to
the project.
If you haven’t been to theMt.
MorrisDam, youneed to take the
30 minute trip. Go down Route
36, through York and
intoMt.Morris, past the
entrance to Letchworth
Park and up the hill.
Turn right on 408 and a
fewmiles on the right is
the entrance to the dam.
It’s a beautiful drive to
the overlook and the
visitor center. There are
some great exhibits in
the visitor center, about
the dam and the Army
Corps of Engineers. There is a
great exhibit about animals and
animal tracks that isgreat forkids.
Youmight alsocatchaglimpseof
oneof thenestingbaldeagles that
flies over the gorge.
B.R. DeWitt’s 20 cubic yard trucks haul
the material to the site and dump it into a
receiving hopper ...
The stone is then conveyed to a huge storage pile.
It is drawn from the bottom of this pile and given a
primary crushing and screening ...
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