This Day in Georgia History
November 23, 1846
Augusta Canal System Began Operation
The Augusta Canal system began operation. Conceived two years earlier as a way to to provide water power for manufacturing and thus aid Augusta’s depressed economy, the canal system diverted water from the Savannah River seven miles north of Augusta. Because the city was situated on the Fall Line, the ground elevation was higher seven miles to the north. The thirteen-foot difference in elevations would cause the water in the canal to flow southward into Augusta with enough speed to power factory turbines. Water first flowed into the canal on Nov. 23, 1846 and Petersburg cotton boats quickly began using the canal. True to its intended purpose, the canal led to construction of the Augusta Factory - a cloth manufacturing firm - in 1847.