Saturday, October 10, 2009

A look back at hydro-electric power

With much emphasis upon wind energy across the country these days -- and other ways of furthering a "green environment" -- we thought it might be interesting to reach back a few decades to see what was going on with power generation in Lawrence County.

Of course, Homestake Mine was still going strong, and they were producing their own electricity at two hydro-electric plants along Spearfish Creek.

The first one built was #1, located adjacent to the City Campground on the edge of Spearfish, and it still is generating electricity for the City of Spearfish.

The other plant, #2, was farther up Spearfish Canyon. This is a recent picture of the dormant facility, which still attracts curious travelers as they sojourn up and down the canyon.

Here is a link to "Hydro-Electric Plants #1 and #2" written by Bob Parker and Tom Mayer. It was included in the 1981 tome Some History of Lawrence County, which was produced by the Lawrence County Historical Society and is now out of print. Copies of the book are available in area public libraries.