1600 visitors attended an opening ceremony, and 400 people rafted the 2.5 mile reach that has been rediscovered and/or enhanced by the removal of the Eagle & Phenix and City Mills dams and MWDG’s engineering design effort. Businesses such as a sandwich shop and general store benefited from visitors in town to ride the river or watch the action. The increased visitation was even felt by a downtown jewelery store owner!
John Turner, a W.C. Bradley Co., executive and the driving force behind the nearly 13-year project to blow up two dams and reverse a 150 years of industrial history, who put it best:
“There is one star of this great, big story — and that is this river,” Turner said as rafts dove into a man-man rapid just behind him. “It was amazing when we got here 150 years ago, and it will be amazing a thousand years from now.”