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LakeAnnaLifeTimesOctoberNovember2015 16 did you knowLAKE ANNA HISTORY TRIVIA In searching for information regarding the creation of Lake Anna this writer had the pleasure of visiting the North Anna Nuclear Information Center and speaking with Mike Duffey and then later speaking with George OConnell and Edna Muss- er both former employees of Dominion Power. George recalled that in 1967 the Vir- ginia Electric and Power Company Ve- pco now known as Dominion Power had announced in the Central Virginian newspaper that it planned to build four nuclear reactors in Louisa County and create a lake. Throughout our conversa- tion George referred to the environmen- tal statement related to the North Anna Power Station issued in April 1973 by the then United States Atomic Energy Com- mission USAEC. In 1968 Vepco began purchasing ap- proximately 18645 acres of land for the construction of a dam and reservoir to supply cooling water for the units at its North Anna Power Station service roads and a spur railroad. The land cov- ered portions of the Virginia Counties of Orange Louisa and Spotsylvania with the bulk of the land situated in the latter two counties. Vepco also engaged the services of the engineering firm of Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation Boston Massachusetts for construction of the power station. Vepco filed its ap- plication with the USAEC in March 1969 to construct units 1 and 2 of the power station and permits for their construction were issued in February 1971. Unit 1 began operating in 1978. Unit 2 began operating in 1980. Vepco subsequently announced plans to construct two ad- ditional units at the power station in the future. An earthen dam built across the North Anna River was completed in 1972 it is constructed of 900000 cubic yards of compacted earthen materials and is rip- rapped with crushed granite it is 5000 feet long and 90 feet high and it has The Lake Anna dam as it appeared prior to Hurricane Agnes. Note the earth and stone construction except at the spillway and the complete removal of all trees and stumps. Musser OConnell And Duffey Remembering The Land Before The Lake BY LIBBY HAYES three concrete spillways to control the level of the reservoir Lake Anna so that a normal elevation of 250 feet above sea level and a maximum level of 255 feet above sea level could be maintained. Through construction of three dikes and canals a system of cooling ponds return cooling water from the plant to the res- ervoir. In preparation for the impoundment of the lake a 1075 acre area five miles up- stream from the dam on the south side of the reservoir was cleared for construction of the power plant and a railroad spur was constructed from the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad line six miles south of the site. The land upstream from where the dam was being constructed was cleared down to the earth all trees brush and debris up to the 255 feet sea level elevation were removed and though no trees re- mained some large tree stumps were left in some areas to delay erosion. Owners of the land along the shoreline were able to continue planting crops in the cleared areas and Edna Musser commented that because the lake filled so rapidly there were unharvested crops that became submerged in the water and she could see the tops of corn plants waving in the water as she rode across the bridge on route 208. A mobile home and 13 permanent homes were located within the boundar- ies of the lake acreage and needed to be demolished in conjunction with the clear- ing of the land. Those structures were bought and the owners were compen- sated at fair market value. In addition 45 family and community cemeteries were located within the boundaries and more than 3000 reinternments were performed to relocate them. Many of the secondary roads around the proposed site would be affected by the development of Lake Anna and conse- quently were modified. During the clearing of the north bank of the North Anna River a remnant of the Fredericksville iron furnace was exposed. This colonial blast furnace well docu- mented in Virginia history was put into service in 1727 as the second operation of its kind in Virginia. According to the April 13 1970 issue of the Free Lance Star the furnace was built by Charles Chiswell on Douglas Run a tributary of the North Anna River that historians were not certain when the furnace was abandoned but believe it did not operate long after Mr. Chiswells death in 1737 and that one of the companys major contributions to the area was the con- struction in 1729 of a road used to carry the finished iron from Fredericksville to the Rappahannock River which road is now known as route 208. The site was thoroughly explored by an archeological team in 1970 but the team found very little material of interest. The excavated site would be covered by water once the level of the lake reached the 250ft eleva- tion. The dirt and stone excavated from the reservoir site and from other areas were used to build the three dikes and the dam. A granite quarry was developed on the south bank of the lake which provided riprap for all the earthen structures. The May 29 1975 issue of the Free Lance Star reported that the State had made its first land purchase towards the planned 1800 acre state park on the Spotsylvania County shore of Lake Anna.