Did you know that Savannah Lakes Village is actually built along the shores of a river?
Beautiful Lake Thurmond is part of the Savannah River and it is constantly in motion!
The history of Lake Thurmond dates back as far as 1890 when The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a survey report recommending a series of dams along the Savannah River to protect Augusta, Georgia from potential flooding. More than thirty years passed before the U.S. began to seriously consider constructing dams along the river. Over fifty years from the initial survey, in 1946, construction began on two of the proposed dams, not for flood control, but hydroelectricity.
The depressed economy following World War II, a steel strike, and The Korean War all caused significant delays. Finally, in 1951, the concrete structure of the dam was completed and the reservoir began to fill. The hydroelectric generators were installed over the next few years, and the project was considered complete in 1955. The dam sits squarely on the South Carolina and Georgia state lines.
Although federally emphasized for its power generation through several presidencies including Roosevelt and Truman, Thurmond Dam does save an estimated $185,000 annually in flood-related damage to both Augusta and Savannah, GA. The dam and lake were officially named Clarks Hill after Georgia's Revolutionary War hero Elijah Clarke. In 1987, Congress voted to change the name in honor of South Carolina's longtime U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond. Georgians did not take kindly to the new title, though, and the dam and its "lake" are often still known as Clarks Hill by the locals on both sides of the line.