Lowell, Massachusetts was an early center of the textile industry in America. It was one of the first real industrial centers, with large cotton mills being built along the waterways.
By diverting the river into numerous canals they could power the machinery for the mills. The canals remain to this day, in various states.
One of the former mills houses a museum that shows the power plant that used the water to generate the power to run the machines.
Because of the flammability of the dust, they used wooden gears that didn’t create sparks.
It is when you go into the main production floor exhibit that you get a true feel for the sheer size of the operation.
While we were there they ran 2 of the looms, which was incredibly loud. One could only imagine what these young ladies went through with 200 of them running at the same time, while working their 12-14 hour, 6 day a week job.
The National Park Service runs a replica trolley around town to shuttle visitors between the sites. A visit to Lowell is educational, and worth the visit if you are in Massachusetts.
The Cumberland Plateau is situated just west of the Appalachian Mountains, running from Kentucky through Tennessee and into Alabama.
The area has a number of highlights including this natural bridge in southern Kentucky.
The Cumberland Falls is the most famed natural feature of southern Kentucky. They claim to have the 2nd most volume of water for a waterfalls in the eastern United States (a far second to Niagara Falls).
From below the rush of the water is impressive.
Just south of Byrdstown, Tennessee is the Obey River Recreation Area.
Cummins Falls is a 75′ high waterfall on the Blackburn Fork River in Jackson County, Tennessee. This waterfall has two options for viewing – one is the overlook seen here. The second is to go down to the river and wade for 1/2 mile in the river to get to the waterfalls. Because of high water conditions (and not being prepared for wading waist high in water), we opted for the overlook view only.
Burgess Falls is on the aptly named Falling Water River in east central Tennessee. This remains of an old bridge crosses the river just above the series of waterfalls.
There are some cascades before you arrive at this falls, nearly 80′ high.
But the main Burgess Falls is this impressive 136′ drop into the ravine.
Not far from Burgess Falls is Falls Creek Falls. It is the highest free fall waterfall east of the Mississippi, dropping an impressive 256′.
A closer view of the top.
A robust hike into the ravine gives a totally different perspective.
Within the same park is this nice cliff and small falls.
Also in Tennessee is the Rock Island State Park. It has a number of features including this falls along the Caney Fork.
This falls once powered this historic cotton mill.
The Caney Fork continues down. Depending on the release of water from the dam it can look like those, or be totally submersed in water.
The highlight of the Rock Island State Park are the Great Falls. Here it appears the entire hillside is the waterfalls, with water seemingly coming from everywhere along the hillside.
This closeup of the smaller cascade portion show the beauty of the falls.
Finally we had a bonus waterfalls early in the morning in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The Rutledge Falls is on a church’s property but they welcome visitors to come check them out.