Caledonia Dam
The Caledonia Dam, also known as the Grand River Dam, is a dam on the Grand River constructed upstream from the Caledonia Bridge in Caledonia, Ontario, Canada.

The first Caledonia Dam was constructed between 1836 and 1842 by the Grand River Navigation Company. The contractor, Ranald McKinnon, is known as Caledonia's founder because of his role in the building of this dam. Known as Dam #4, Caledonia also housed Lock #4 also built by the Navigation Company. The dams located along the Grand River provided boat access from the mouth of the Grand all the way to the end, providing an easy route for travelers and scows for shipping. Navigation on the Grand slowed around 1879 and many of the Navigation Company dams fell into disrepair in the years following. The first Caledonia Dam also provided enough run of mill to allow water-powered mills to be constructed along the banks of the Grand in Caledonia. Ranald McKinnon built a grist mill, saw mill, and woollen (textile) Mill on the North side of the river, and James Little built the Caledonia Mill on the south side. At the turn of the century the ownership of Caledonia's dam was split between the two milling companies at the time: The Caledonia Milling Co. Ltd. who owned the South mill, and The Shirra Milling Co. who owned the north mill. When the dam broke in 1928, The Shirra Milling Co. could not afford their share of repairs and so a deal was worked out with the Caledonia Milling Co. Ltd. Between 1928 and 1930 the original Caledonia dam was gradually replaced with a new concrete dam, built by the Caledonia Milling Co. Ltd. This dam broke in 1979, and was replaced with the current dam in 1980. This new dam was built farther downstream, since it was no longer needed to run mills on the river, both the remaining Mills closed in 1964, and the North Mill burned in 1969. This 1980 dam was built by the Grand River Conservation Authority, and is still maintained by the GRCA today. When constructed a provision for a boat lock was made so that, if in the future the GRCA wished to make the Grand River navigable once again only a small amount of construction would need to be undertaken on the dam structure.


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