The races at the Phoenix Mill

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (1)

Bruce Comfort on August 12, 2011

In this and the previous photo, the trace of the two water races feeding the Phoenix Mill can be seen. At the top right where the small white (pump) shed appears is the breast of the earth dam that impounded this branch of Oamaru Creek. The dam is now non functional and has been breached but it is visible in Google Earth about 300 metres upstream of this shot.

The second race was put in when the new wheel was installed but the overarching problem with the mill was the ephemeral nature of the creek. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, North Otago had a dry climate (that seems to have changed) and droughts were common and devastating. The mill struggled to process grain of course at the time (mainly)at harvest which was the driest part of the year. Successive owners persevered but the mill eventually closed in deference to steam powered mills in Oamaru township. As far as I'm aware there was never a water powered mill in town (water powered as in utilising the 1880 public water supply - See The Borough Race photosets)

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 12, 2011
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
    by Bruce Comfort
    • Camera: OLYMPUS OPTICAL CO.,LTD X300,D565Z,C450Z
    • Exposure: 0.010s (1/100)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.700
    • ISO Speed: ISO50
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash