Most people already know that Lake Norman is the largest man made lake in North Carolina. They probably also know that it spans over four counties, Catawba, Iredell, Lincoln, and Mecklenburg. But here are 8 facts that you may or may not have known about our favorite place to cool off in the summer:
Image Credit: Patrick Schneider
- Lake Norman provides electricity to the Piedmont region of the Carolinas. It powers the generators at the hydroelectric station at Cowans Ford Dam, and is used by Marshall Steam Station and McGuire Nuclear Station to cool the steam that drives their turbines.
- The lake supplies water to Lincoln County, Catawba County, Iredell County, Mooresville, Charlotte, and other towns in Mecklenburg County, particularly Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville.
- Lake Norman is 33.3 miles in length and 9 miles in width
- Lake Norman was built over 5 years from 1959-1964
Image Credit: Boat West Port Marina
- The planning for Lake Norman began in 1895 after a South Carolina engineer by the name of William States Lee visiting the worlds first hydroelectric Plant at Niagara Falls and asked why this couldn’t be done with the Catawba River.
- James Buchanan Duke wrote a check to Lee and his friend Dr. Walker Gill Wiley for $50,000 to start the Catawba Power Company in 1905 after hearing the idea. (Catawba Power Company later became Southern Power but is now known as Duke Energy)
- Davidson College has a program called Under Lake Norman where they gather mapping images of places and sometimes entire villages that disappeared under the water. Check it out here.
- It only took 11 months for the lake to reach full-pond equaling 3.4 trillion gallons of water.
If you're generally interested in more information check out the Visit Lake Norman website.
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