Wilson Dam

Tennessee River on AL 133, Florence, Alabama

Photos 

Wilson Dam & Hydroelectric Plant

1. GENERAL VIEW OF THE WILSON DAM, LOOKING SOUTHEAST, GENERATING PLANT IN THE BACKGROUND.

Photo from the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

Map 

Description 

In 1918, by the directive of the U.S. War Department, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction on Wilson Dam, a large hydroelectric project that was to supply power to U.S. Nitrate Plant No. 2 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. With the ending of the war in the same year, Wilson Dam lingered in an uncompleted state until government appropriations saw it through to its completion in 1926. Begun at the end of a period of intense innovation and later standardization in hydroelectric technology, Wilson Dam incorporated state-of-the-art equipment for the generation and transmission of electrical power. When taken over the by newly formed Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in 1933, Wilson Dam became the first hydroelectric facility in that agency's power system, and as a result, it is now also the oldest. Reflecting the high level of operating efficiency reached during the formative period of hydroelectric dam-building, Wilson has retained much of its original equipment, including vintage generators, turbines and various electrical components, despite ensuing construction of more modern facilities that now comprise the extensive TVA system. -- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER AL-47)

National Register information 

Status
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1966
Reference number
66000147
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Transportation
Level of significance
National
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Structure
Historic functions
Water works; Energy facility
Current functions
Water works; Energy facility
Period of significance
1925-1949
Significant years
1925; 1933

Sources