Sunday, June 19, 2011

Marmet on the Kanawha

I took this photo last Monday. It's the Marmet Locks and Dam on the Kanawha River. This angle shows the hydroelectric plant at the abutment end of the dam. The hydro plant opened in 1935, according to a sign on the site.

I put the photo in a Facebook album, after which a Facebook friend added this comment:

"In the mid 70's, the air pollution was so bad up there that they used to say you had to have leather lungs and steel eyes to be a lock man at Marmet."

Here's another photo of the dam, emphasizing the piers and the rollers.

After I took these photos and saw them on my computer, I noticed that almost no water was flowing under the rollers. Most or all of it must have been coming through the hydroelectric plant.


Anonymous said...

Forget the lockman,how about a deckhand on the Robert W. Lea with no air condition. Been there ,done that in the late 60's.It was bad in "chemical valley" back then. Sure glad to be retired.

ohio981 said...

I remember it used to be that driving west on Interstate 64, when you crossed that big green bridge over the Kanawha at Nitro, the air smelled like burning plastic. It hasn't smelled like that for a long time.

Chuck said...

My grandparents lived in Nitro and as a kid in the '60s and early '70s I remember you had to roll up the windows driving through town - my eyes would burn from the chemicals. Despite exposure to that, Grandma lived to be 91. Go figure.

tanstaafl said...

Back in the late Seventies and early Eighties, I had to make almost daily trips to the Kanawha Valley from Cabell County. Each time I crested the hill just west of Institute, I gagged from the odors. Once down off the hill, it became much more bearable but for a moment or two it was about all I could stand.