St. George Gorge at First Falls is located in the centre of St. George, encompassed by Brunswick Street, South Street and the Mill Road. Fresh water from Magaguadavic River falls 21 metres into a gorge that empties into a tidal basin. The west bank is occupied by an electricity generating plant. There is a dam at the top of the falls. This designation also includes the Old Pine Tree.
St. George Gorge at First Falls is designated a Local Historic Place for its impact on the development and economy of the Town of St. George.
The impact of this natural element is evident in the number of industries that have taken advantage of its force and convenient position near the centre of town. Since 1784, the hydro power from St. George Gorge at First Falls has powered industries such as shipbuilding, lumbering and saw mills, granite works finishing sheds, a pulp mill, and an electrical power plant. The mill building in the St. George Gorge at First Falls is an original 1904 industrial structure built by St. George Pulp Mill. The first dam at the head of the gorge was built circa 1860’s for lumbering purposes. It underwent modification in 1880’s for the granite industry, in 1902 for a pulp mill, in 1954 for a pulp and paper fibre mill, and in 2004 for an electrical power generating plant.
An important natural element that overlooks the gorge is the Old Pine Tree. A second generation growth, the Old Pine is one of the oldest living trees in the province. It grew as the Town of St. George grew and is considered a sentinel and a landmark of the town. It’s location, overlooking the St. George Gorge at First Falls, is also significant. This tree would have been a visual landmark for those attending the Presbyterian Kirk, built nearby in 1790. It would have also been a prominent landscape feature during the industrial development of the gorge.
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