South Carolina

Lake Murray – Lexington County, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Lexington County Photos  |  Lake Murray

Lake Murray is a 50,000-acre man-made lake located in the heart of South Carolina, just west of Columbia. It borders the towns of Lexington, Irmo, and Chapin, which is often called the “Capital of Lake Murray.”

Lake Murray Dam

Steve Rich of Aiken, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Lake Murray was named for the dam’s chief engineer, William S. Murray. It was created in 1930 as a result of the Saluda Dam (also called the Dreher Shoals Dam), which was once the largest earthen dam in the world. The dam stands 1.5 miles wide and 213 feet high; above, the intake towers peer above the still surface. The dam is an incredible site to see!

Dreher Shoals Damn 1927-1930

Contributed by Scott Krause of Columbia, 1927-1930 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Originally inhabited by the Catawba and Cherokee Indians, the area that is now Lake Murray was ultimately settled by European immigrants, primarily of Dutch and German descent. In order to build Lake Murray, the Lexington Water Power Company relocated 5,000 citizens, removed three churches and six schools, and submerged 193 graveyards.

Lake Murray Intake Towers

Ralph Mayer of Lexington, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The largest section of Lake Murray is located in Lexington County, but portions also extend into Saluda, Newberry, and Richland counties. Lake Murray is owned by SCE&G and provides most of the electricity for the Midlands region.

More Pictures of Lake Murray

Lake Murray Dock

Steve Rich of Aiken, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Lake Murray Towers

Ralph Mayer of Lexington, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Lake Murray

Ralph Mayer of Lexington, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Lake Murray SC

Paul Gowder of Lexington, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Lake Murray Sunset

Terri Leigh Teed of Columbia, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Lake Murray Lexington County

Keri Pendergrass of Lexington, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Lake Murray Lexington

Barbara Hendrix of Gilbert, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on Lake Murray

Contributor Keri Pendergrass, who sent one of the above photos, shares: “My new-found love of photography has inspired me to explore my backyard (so to speak). I’ve been able to share this love with my husband and daughter as well, going on photo expeditions and such. This particular day my daughter and I took a sunset stroll across the Lake Murray Dam in Lexington, and I was able to capture some very beautiful images. Here is one of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as we do.”

Add your own reflections here.

Lake Murray Map

Lake Murray – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Lake Murray, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

One Comment about Lake Murray

Naomi HammNo Gravatar says:
August 24th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

This is really pretty. I love the ambers, oranges, and browns mixed with egg-shell blue. It’s awesome and inspiring!

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