Back in the day well before the Decommissioning of the Clarksburg (Haines) Dam, across the road from the Haines Dam on Clark street resides the Clarksburg School House. It now is an office building filled with a construction, engineering and architectural firms. It was a 5 room school that had all the children from the neighbourhood in attendance. Then slowly the building was removed from service. This is when there were no school buses thus schools had to be smaller and close to their population, yes not very efficient but a memorable education. Part of going to school was hanging around at lunch and after school in the river. It was huge attraction. The two homes occupying the space today were not in existence, thus creating a natural playground for inquisitive minds.
There was no such thing a life jackets. Kids were free to do what their imaginations took them and they did. The original dam construction had a walking bridge to gain access to the south side of the river and the fish ladder. In the spring and fall the Beaver River has quite a fish run but access has been restricted by these man made structures. Giving access to migratory fish was not a high concern from the original engineering firm. The dam is In excess of 300′ wide but has only 10′ wide for fish to swim up the Beaver River most learn the hard way hitting the flat of the concrete numerous times until they work themselves south to the ladder (take a look at the video) it’s very sad.
Clarksburg was founded by Mr. W Clark in 1859. when he created a mill with the use of the Beaver River ultimately creating one of the notable industries in the area known for its blankets tweed and flannel. The founders had vision as Clarksburg had a natural and special resource with the rapidly moving Beaver River and the idea of Grist or hydro dams. Numerous dams were created for wood, food and clothing production. In those days Clarksburg was an Economic driver not Thornbury.
Numerous events have been hosted on the Beaver river from fishing, Up the beaver ( an annual neighbour party, to the notorious Beaver River rat race held for years with the support of the local Rotary club. It was a crazy drunken event that got out of hand. Please see below for the video of the event.