December 31, 1913
Just over a year after construction began, Lay Dam was completed near Clanton. The project, the first hydroelectric plant to be built by Alabama Power, was launched in 1910 by William Patrick Lay, a native of Gadsden. When the project ran into financing difficulties, Lay turned to developer James Mitchell, who helped secure investment from London to form the holding company Alabama Traction, Power & Light Company, a precursor of Alabama Power. Eventually, Lay gave up ownership in the company to Mitchell. Constructed by workers who lived in a company village on site, the plant went into service in April 1914. Having been extensively renovated in 1967, the plant continues to serve customers today. Lay Lake includes 289 miles of shoreline that provides recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, swimming and picnic space for the public.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
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