Restoring A Historic Landmark on Cape Cod
For more than 300 years, the Baxter Grist Mill has served as a landmark along Main Street in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Originally powered by a waterwheel, it was converted to turbine operation circa 1860 and is the only turbine-powered mill on Cape Cod. The mill ceased regular operation around 1900. It has since served as a gift shop, museum, and has been restored to operation twice – first in 1961, and again in 1989. The dam adjacent to the mill had deteriorated over the years and the fish ladder at the site, which was in poor condition, was too short to be functional. Tighe & Bond was called in to help with the repairs and provide services such as hydrology/hydraulics analysis, structural assessment, planning and design, permitting, and construction administration.
Historically Sensitive Repairs & Improvements
Our team evaluated the dam associated with the mill site and developed historically-sensitive repairs and improvements. This evaluation included:
- A hydrology/hydraulics analysis of the dam;
- Structural condition assessment of the fish ladder and the dam’s stone masonry walls; and
- An assessment of dam repair alternatives, and a scoping design for the fish ladder.
The solution addressed the dam’s deficiencies, replaced the fish ladder, and improved public access and amenities. This project required careful coordination with the Yarmouth Historical Commission to maintain the historical consistency of the site and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for the design of a fish ladder that met their restoration goals.