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Lake Murray was named after William S. Murray, who was an engineer involved in the design and creation of the dam. Lexington Water Power Company (now known as South Carolina Electric and Gas/Dominion Energy) built the dam in order to generate electricity. The lake and dam were under construction from 1927 through 1930.

Approximately 100,000 acres of land was purchased for the building of the dam and lake. Land was purchased from more than 5000 families. The land sold between $15 and $45 an acre. To make room for the lake, nearly a dozen communities had to be abandoned, including Derrick, Pine Ridge, Selwood, Wessinger, Cantsville, Leaphart, Savilla, Boyleston, Lorena, Holly’s Ferry and Lorick’s Ferry.

Each of the towers is 223 feet tall. The four smaller ones were built 16 feet in diameter to draw water from the bottom of the lake into the penstocks. The largest tower is 60 feet in diameter and feeds water to the massive arch conduit beneath it.