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Historic Predecessor to Brecksville Dam Revealed as Removal Continues

photo of Pinery Dam
The Pinery Dam was built in 1827 but has been submerged since the Brecksville Dam was built in 1952.

The Brecksville Dam removal project hit a milestone this week, as waters receded enough to reveal the historic Pinery Dam that’s been submerged since the 1950s.

The older, wooden dam is nearly 200 years old and was intended to divert water from the Cuyahoga River to the Ohio & Erie Canal just to the east. It’s currently being studied by Cuyahoga Valley National Park historians.

Dianne Sumego with Friends of the Crooked River says the area already looks vastly different with only the Pinery Dam in place.

“It’s supposed to be a trapezoid in shape. Parts of it are missing. There’s a 20-foot section in the middle and then a fish pathway. You can see where the water is shallower. We’re already starting to see continual movement [and] improvement of the water quality that’s going to bring all the fish back that weren’t here previously.”

The removal of the dams could be done by the end of this summer. Sumego cautions kayakers to stay out of the area.

About 40 feet of concrete remains from the Brecksville Dam. Crews expect demolition of that portion to be completed by next week.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.