The center traces the history of the Augusta Canal, built over two years from 1845-1847 and enlarged in 1875. During the Civil War water from the canal powered the two mile long Confederate States Powder Works. Textile mills, saw mills, grist mills, and an ironworks were also powered by the canal. The textile mills began closing in the 1960s and the canal suffered from neglect. Fortunately local citizens and federal and state governments worked together to clean the canal and the tow paths which now support guided boats tours, paddling, and kayaking in the canals and bicycling, walking, and running along the trails.
The mills provided housing and preferred large families because the children could be put to work at low wages.
The Discovery Center is located in the Enterprise Mill building(now a thriving office, retail, and residential center) which was in use for over 100 years. The center offers daily boat tours. The history exhibits are free with a boat tour or tickets can be purchased separately.
The boat tours are not accessible due to steps. The exhibits are accessible. Follow the sidewalk along Greene Street, at the north side of the mill, to access a paved section of the canal trail.
A small parking lot is located on the west side of the mill building, close to the center entrance. This lot is not large enough for most RVs so it’s best to park in the east lot. Center 33.47834, -81.98269