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Kelly Barnes Dam

From Academic Kids

This information was obtained from the United States Geological Survey and is considered to be public domain.


The Kelly Barnes Dam, located in Stephens County, Georgia, just outside of the city of Toccoa, was originally built as a rock crib dam in 1899 to create a reservoir for a small hydroelectric plant. In 1937 the Toccoa Falls Bible Institute wanted to develop a more stable electric power source and built an earthen dam over the original rock crib dam.

The dam was raised a couple times eventually reaching 42 feet (nearly 13 meters) above the rock foundation. This modification provided power for Toccoa Falls Bible Institute until 1957 when the power production was stopped and the lake was only used for recreational purposes.

On Sunday, November 6, 1977, around 1:30am the Kelly Barnes Dam failed resulting in 39 fatalities and a major clean up effort.

The dam was never rebuilt and the remaining waterfall is now a tourist attraction as well as a memorial area on the campus of Toccoa Falls College.

See also

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