In late 2015, I had yet another opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues at Sutherland Conservation and Consulting. We collaborated on the documentation of a historic hydroelectric station in Westbrook, ME. This is an early hydroelectric project built on the Presumpscot River in downtown Westbrook in 1907, taking advantage of a waterfall there. It was built by the S.D. Warren Company, which made paper from pulp. As part of a series of negotiations over the past decade, the current owners of the hydroelectric station have agreed to remove the plant and the station’s two dams. This work will be carried out as part of a broader Presumpscot River restoration project. Because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is involved, its removal had to be coordinated with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, which required documentation for the Maine Historic Engineering Record. I conducted the HABS/HAER photography of the site in coordination with Sutherland Conservation and Consulting, using my 4×5 field camera and TMAX 400 film. As of 2017, the status of the dam removal process remains uncertain.
Head gates and powerhouse