National Trust of Guyana

Christianburg Waterwheel

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The Christianburg Waterwheel located on Burnham Drive, Christianburg, Linden, was installed as part of a hydro-powered sawmill on the plantation sometime during the latter half of the 1800s. This hydro-powered sawmill was needed to improve the production of logs and reducing the cost associated with it. It is regarded as one of the earliest engineering structures to be built in the town.

The waterwheel was built by Mirrlees, Tait & Watson from Glasgow, and the company’s name is embossed and can be seen numerous places along the structure. This company started as an engineering partnership to manufacture sugar cane processing machinery in 1840. It was known then as P. and W. McOnie. Over the years, partnerships with other individuals caused changes in the company’s name; in 1858 it became Mirrlees & Tait, and in 1868 it was renamed Mirrlees, Tait & Watson. The hydro-powered sawmill ceased operations in the 1950s, however the waterwheel still remains as a tangible reminder and part of Linden’s industrial heritage.