In the early 1800s settlers dammed the Reedy River in Laurens County, SC to build a grain mill for families settling nearby. With impending Hurricane Florence dulling the skies we set out, hoping to find some remains of Boyd's Mill. We could soon hear rushing water and, after a short hike down a steep, washed-out road, we rounded a bend to meet up with a horrible stench (we never found the source) and this surprise:
a 1907 hydroelectric dam, replacing the grist mill and itself looking abandoned years ago. The remains of an old road bridge stand in the foreground.
It's a very long dam, extending farther than I could see playing hopscotch on the rocks, out beyond the trees at the right.
We didn't hang around long. We enjoyed the sound of the water but not the smell or the mosquitoes. We returned to the car and, continuing up the road, came to a modern sign, another view of the dam, and another surprise.
This rickety-looking dam and power plant still has functioning turbines producing electricity for Laurens County!
In the fall of 2015 in torrential rains fourteen dams in the Columbia, South Carolina area failed. Twelve lives and a tremendous amount of property were lost. Maybe it's just me, but I'd be a little nervous if I lived downstream from this one!