On this day in Alabama history: Roosevelt approved Lay construction

On this day in Alabama history: Roosevelt approved Lay construction
Lay Dam and powerhouse. (Alabama Power Company Archives)

March 4, 1907

President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill approving the construction of Lay Dam on the Coosa River near Clanton. The state’s first hydroelectric plant built by Alabama Power Company, the dam went into service on April 12, 1914, as Lock 12 Dam. Named after Alabama Power founder William Patrick Lay in 1929, the structure now stands 129.6 feet high and 2,260 feet long, and its powerhouse contains six generators, each producing 29,500 kilowatts of electricity. The creation of the dam also formed Lay Lake, which encompasses 12,000 acres and provides 289 miles of shoreline for outdoor recreational activities such as boating, swimming and fishing. Sport fish species include several varieties of bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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