SC Photo of the Month – Beautiful 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
, and Chapin
, which is often called the "Capital of Lake Murray."
— Lake Murray © Ralph Mayer of Lexington (2012) —
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 208 feet high – it is an incredible site to see!
Originally inhabited by the Catawba
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.
The largest section of Lake Murray is located in Lexington County
, but portions also extend into Saluda, Newberry, and Richland counties. Lake Murray is now owned by SCE&G and provides most of the electricity for the Midlands region. To learn more about the dam's construction, see SCIWAY's history of Lake Murray
Do you have information about Lake Murray you'd like to share with our state? Send it here. Also, take some time to add your pictures to SCIWAY's South Carolina Picture Project. The next "SC Photo of the Month" could be yours!