St. George Gorge

St. George Gorge

St. George Gorge

Nestled in the heart of St. George, the St. George Gorge at First Falls is bordered by Brunswick Street, South Street, and Mill Road. Fresh water from the Magaguadavic River descends 21 metres into a gorge that ultimately leads to a tidal basin. An electricity generating plant resides on the west bank, and a dam is positioned at the falls’ peak. The historical landmark also encompasses the Old Pine Tree.

St. George Gorge

Recognized as a Local Historic Place, St. George Gorge at First Falls holds a significant place in the history of the Town of St. George due to its profound impact on the town’s development and economy.

The influence of this natural wonder is evidenced by the multitude of industries that have leveraged its power and strategic location near the town centre. Since 1784, the hydro power harnessed from St. George Gorge at First Falls has fueled various industries, including shipbuilding, lumbering, sawmills, granite works finishing sheds, a pulp mill, and an electrical power plant. The mill building in the St. George Gorge at First Falls, an original industrial edifice from 1904, was built by St. George Pulp Mill. The first dam at the gorge’s head, constructed around the 1860s for lumbering purposes, has been modified over the years to accommodate different industries: the granite industry in the 1880s, a pulp mill in 1902, a pulp and paper fibre mill in 1954, and an electrical power generating plant in 2004.

Overlooking the gorge is the Old Pine Tree, a second-generation growth and one of the oldest living trees in the province. As the Town of St. George expanded, so did this venerable tree. It serves as both a sentinel and a landmark for the town. Its location, offering a spectacular view of the St. George Gorge at First Falls, adds to its significance. This tree would have stood as a visual marker for attendees of the Presbyterian Kirk, built nearby in 1790, and would have been a prominent feature during the industrial development of the gorge.

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