Historic Markers Across Alabama



Montgomery and Electricity / Hydroelectricity in the River Region



Marker ID: AHA 
Location:
County: Montgomery
Coordinates:   
Waymark: None
 



Text:

Montgomery and Electricity


Gaslights in 1854, electric lights in 1883 and the electric trolley in 1886 made Montgomery a state leader in applying modern technology for lighting and motive power. Steam was used first for generation, but in 1902 local businessmen built a dam on the Tallapoosa River to provide electricity for the city. Several companies competed fiercely to supply the growing demand. Montgomery Light and Power and Montgomery Light and Traction struggled to survive and were in receivership in 1923 when acquired by Alabama Power Co. Today, Alabama Power continues to serve the city and state. Montgomery Water Power and Electric Company, although short-lived, built this classically inspired structure in 1901.

Placed in recognition of Alabama Power's centennial, 1906-2006


Hydroelectricity in the River Region


Hydroelectricity played a vital role in the growth of Montgomery and the state. The 1902 dam at Tallassee was the first major hydroelectric plant in Alabama. The Great Flood of 1919 destroyed the dam, causing acute power shortages, a problem not fully resolved until 1920, when workers completed a transmission line linking the city to the Alabama Power Co. dam at Lock 12 on the Coosa River. In 1926 Martin Dam was completed on the Tallapoosa River, creating what was at the time the largest artificial lake in the world. In 1928 work was completed on Jordan Dam north of Wetumpka and Yates Dam at the site of the 1919 dam failure. Thurlow Dam, also near Tallassee, was completed in 1930. Today, Alabama Power operates 14 hydroelectric projects on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers.

Placed in recognition of Alabama Power's centennial, 1906-2006








End of Montgomery and Electricity / Hydroelectricity in the River Region