Lake Lanier, Lake Lanier Georgia

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Lake Lanier, Lake Lanier Georgia

Lake Lanier was named after 19th century poet Sidney Clopton Lanier. He was a Georgia native who was inspired by the beauty of this area to write the poem, "Song of the Chattahoochee."

Lake Lanier began in earnest in 1950 when some 58,000 acres of land were acquired for the project. Although mostly rural farmland, it was no easy task dealing with thousands of landowners whose land would be flooded by the lake. For the lake's 540 miles of shoreline, workers cleared 14,000 acres of forests. During this process buildings along the shoreline were removed and in some cases even gravesites were relocated to areas away from the lake. The cost was approximately 45 million dollars. Buildings, trees, and other structures that would be covered with many feet of water were left standing and remain so, underwater, today.

Buford Dam began in 1953 and was built of raw earth instead of concrete to keep costs low. The main dam is 192 feet high and 2,360 feet long. On the west side of the main dam a large concrete building called the Powerhouse was constructed in a depression excavated from solid rock. The construction of Buford Dam and Lake Lanier was essentially completed in 1956, it took 2 more years for the lake to fill up with water. The three generators located in the powerhouse can produce a total of 86,000 kilowatts of clean, non-polluting hydroelectric power. That's enough electricity to supply 25,000 homes, however this electricity cannot be stored so it used by demand usually in the afternoons during peak times. Counties effected by the lake are Hall, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Dawson, and Lumpkin counties.

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