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Calhoun Falls in Abbeville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Richard B. Russell Dam
Flood Control, Electric Power, and Recreation
 
Richard B. Russell Dam Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
1. Richard B. Russell Dam Marker
 
Inscription.
On the upper Savannah River near Elberton, Ga., and Calhoun Falls, S.C. lies the Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake -- authorized for construction by the Flood Control Act of 1966 for the purposes of hydropower generation, recreation and flood control. Originally known as Trotters Shoals, the dam site is situated about midway between the J. Strom Thurmond and Hartwell dams and lake projects of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District.

The Russell Project
Construction of the Russell project by the Corps' Savannah District was initiated in 1976. The District began filling the lake in October 1983. The lake reached its full power pool elevation of 475 feet above mean sea level in the winter of 1984 and covers 26,650 acres of land. in all, about 52,000 acres of land were required for the lake inundation, the dam, road and railroad relocations, project operations and recreational areas.

The Dam's structure and Hydroelectricity
The Russell Dam consists of a 1,884-foot long gravity structure of about 1.1 million cubic yards of concrete with a maximum height of 195 feet -- flanked by two earth embankments of about 2.9 million cubic yards of zoned material. The Georgia side embankment is 2,180 feet long, and the South Carolina embankment is 460 feet long. The spillway section contains 10
 
Richard B. Russell Dam Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
2. Richard B. Russell Dam Marker
 
Tainter Gates, each 50 feet wide and 45 feet high. There are five sluice gates with a width of 5 feet, 8 inches, and a height of 10 feet.

The powerhouse has four 75-megawatt conventional turbine-generating units and four 75-megawatt pumped storage units. The project is designed as a peaking plant, with an installed capacity of 600 megawatts -- which makes it the largest Corps hydroelectric project in the southeast. The pumped storage feature allows water, after it has passed through the generating unis, to be pumped back into the lake for reuse in generating power.

Millwood, Example of a Flooded Site
Located on the Savannah River about 5 miles west of the town of Calhoun Falls, S.C., Millwood was the site of a large plantation built in 1833 by James E. Calhoun (Colhoun), brother-in-law and cousin of John C. Calhoun, American statesman and Vice President of the United States. Millwood was a concentrated village allowing overseers to exercise control over 200 slaves, livestock, storage facilities and workshops. One of the first structures built was a gristmill and millrace, completed in 1834. Turbines for the mill were powered by water with a 14-foot drop.

Excavation of the site uncovered the foundation remains and debris from about 45 structures inhabited until 1889. In all, Millwood consisted of about 10,000 acres of land. Major crops
 
Richard B. Russell Dam Marker -<br>The Russell Project Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
3. Richard B. Russell Dam Marker -
The Russell Project
 
were cotton and corn. After the decline of the cotton economy following the Civil War, Calhoun faced great financial losses. The concentrated population of tenants, overseers and slaves were dispersed to about one house per 30-40 acres. Numerous small fields replaced the large plantation ones, and a network of roads was built to maintain contacts. Calhoun managed to keep most of his land by renting to tenants and by leasing the use of water power and a gold mining operation. Following Calhoun's death in 1889, a board of trustees continued to rent and manage the estate. The main village became a locally popular "resort' in the 20th century. Duke Power Company acquired the property in the 1940s to develop hydroelectric power. Upon learning of the plans for the Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake project, the company used the land instead for pulpwood cultivation.
 
Erected by South Carolina Heritage Corridor.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina Heritage Corridor marker series.
 
Location. 34° 1.364′ N, 82° 35.55′ W. Marker is in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina, in Abbeville County. Marker is on Russell Dam Overlook Road (State Road 1-269), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located near the parking lot for the small park. Access to the marker is limited to daylight hours as the park is closed starting at dusk. Upon leaving the parking lot, drive south along Russell Dam Overlook Road to the boat ramp. From here, you can walk along a boardwalk along the lake's shore and take in great views of the dam. Marker is in this post office area: Calhoun Falls SC 29628, United States of America.
 
Richard B. Russell Dam Marker -<br>The Dam's structure and Hydroelectricity Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
4. Richard B. Russell Dam Marker -
The Dam's structure and Hydroelectricity
 

 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. USS Scorpion (SS-278) (approx. 3.4 miles away in Georgia); Bobby Brown State Park Monument (approx. 3.4 miles away in Georgia); Olin D. Johnston Memorial Boulevard (approx. 4.2 miles away); Millwood (approx. 4.2 miles away); Colonistsí Crossing (approx. 4.4 miles away in Georgia); Calhoun Falls World War I and II Veterans Monument (approx. 4.7 miles away); Fort Charlotte (approx. 5 miles away); Mt. Carmel Historical District (approx. 5 miles away); Welcome to Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area (approx. 5.6 miles away); Capture of Fort Charlotte (approx. 5.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Calhoun Falls.
 
Also see . . .
1. Richard Russell, Jr. Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. (November 2, 1897 – January 21, 1971) was an American Democratic Party politician who was a long-time United States Senator from the state of Georgia. (Submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Richard B. Russell State Park. Located on a 26,500-acre lake, Richard B. Russell State Park offers some of the state's finest fishing and boating. (Submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake. Welcome to Richard B. Russell Lake and Dam Project, the most recent multi-purpose water resource development built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. (Submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Richard B. Russell Dam Marker -<br>Millwood, Example of a Flooded Site Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
5. Richard B. Russell Dam Marker -
Millwood, Example of a Flooded Site
 

4. Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. It seems that serving Georgia ran in Richard Brevard Russell's blood. (Submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Richard B. Russell Lake. Richard B. Russell Lake is a man-made lake created by the construction of Richard B. Russell Dam on the Savannah River bordering Elbert County, Georgia and Abbeville County, South Carolina. (Submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Great Lakes of Georgia: Russell. Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake was authorized for construction by the 1966 Flood Control Act as Trotters Shoals Lake, later renamed to commemorate a late senator from Georgia, Richard B. Russell. (Submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

7. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. Official website of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District. (Submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. (1897-1971)
Richard Brevard Russell, Jr., a Senator from Georgia; born in Winder, Barrow County, Ga., November 2, 1897; attended the public schools; graduated from the Seventh District Agricultural and Mechanical School, Powder Springs, Ga., in 1914, from Gordon Institute, Barnesville, Ga., in 1915, and from the law department of the University of Georgia at Athens in 1918; admitted to the bar and commenced practice at Winder, Ga., in 1919; served with the United States Naval Reserve in 1918; member, State house of representatives 1921-1931, serving as speaker 1927-1931; Governor of Georgia 1931-1933; elected on November 8, 1932, as a Democrat to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William J. Harris; reelected in 1936, 1942, 1948, 1954, 1960 and 1966 and served from January 12, 1933, until his death; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Ninety-first and Ninety-second Congresses; chairman, Committee on Immigration (Seventy-fifth through Seventy-ninth Congresses), Committee on Manufactures (Seventy-ninth Congress), Committee on Armed Services (Eighty-second and Eighty-fourth through Ninetieth Congresses), Committee on Appropriations (Ninety-first Congress); died on January 21, 1971, in Washington, D.C.; interment in Russell Memorial Park, Winder, Ga. (Source: Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.)
 
Richard B. Russell Dam Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
6. Richard B. Russell Dam
 
    — Submitted July 18, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
 
Savannah River Memorial Bridge Dedication Postcard Photo, Click for full size
Abbeville County by the Abbeville County Historical Society, 1927
7. Savannah River Memorial Bridge Dedication Postcard
This bridge which once spanned the Savannah river and connected Calhoun Falls, South Carolina with Elberton, Georgia, is now under the waters of Lake Russell. Prior to the bridge, the only way to cross the Savannah from either city was by ferry.
 
 
Richard B. Russell, Jr.<br>(1897–1971) Photo, Click for full size
By Unknown Source
8. Richard B. Russell, Jr.
(1897–1971)
Ga. House of Representatives 1921-1931
Governor of Georgia 1931–1933
U.S. Senator from Ga. 1933–1971
 
 
Richard B. Russell Dam from Overlook Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
9. Richard B. Russell Dam from Overlook
 
 
Walk-way Leading to Dam Viewpoint Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
10. Walk-way Leading to Dam Viewpoint
The stones lining the left side of the walkway show the former waterline. Russell, along with the other Savannah lakes Hartwell and Thurmond, have suffered severe water level drops during the past decade. These drops have resulted in dramatic shoreline changes and in some cases, old roads and bridges surfacing.
 
 
And Across the Lake is...Georgia Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
11. And Across the Lake is...Georgia
 
 
Richard B. Russell Dam from Shoreline Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
12. Richard B. Russell Dam from Shoreline
 
 
Richard B. Russell Lake Boat Ramp Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 3, 2009
13. Richard B. Russell Lake Boat Ramp
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,906 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on November 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4, 5. submitted on February 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on November 20, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7, 8. submitted on November 21, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on February 5, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
 
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