Monday, October 17, 2011

Confederate States Powder Works & Sibley Mill - Augusta, Georgia





Chosen for it's prime central location and being the crossroads of the Savannah River and multiple railroads, Augusta was claimed home to one of the most notable structures, The Confederate Powderworks.  The Powderworks, consisting of 28 buildings, was the only completed permanent building project funded by the Confederate States.  At the time of it's completion, it was the second largest powder mill in the world and had the ability to produce more than enough gun powder to the Confederate cause, about 7,000 pounds per day!



As the last standing monument to the original Powderworks, the chimney tower now known as Obelisk Chimney, has been dedicated to one of it's founders, Colonel Rains.  It is the first and oldest Confederate Monument in the city of Augusta.

As the canal was being expanded after the American Civil War, tearing down some of the 28 original buildings of the Powderworks was in plan.  In 1880, the Sibley Mill Company purchased the remaining buildings and used bricks from the former buildings and built on top of a few of the previous structures.  Using the hydropower that Powderworks utilized, the Sibley Mill became one of the world's highest producers of textiles for companies such as Levi Strauss.  Despite the mill being closed down in 2006, the City of Augusta still uses the water turbines to produce electricity to this day under the control of Georgia Power.  Cresting the top of this neo-gothic edifice which was atypical for structures intended for the purpose of textile milling is the coat of arms of the Sibley family:
                                                           Esse quam videri
                                                To Be, rather than Just Seem.

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