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This Week In History
Captain W.P. Lay founded Alabama Power Company in December 1906 and began looking for a site to build a dam. Soon after, he found a site the Army Corps of Engineers had identified as a potential lock location on the Coosa River about 11 miles from Clanton. He acquired the site in 1910 and secured congressional approval to build the dam but could not find financing to build it until he met James Mitchell in 1911. Mitchell formed the Alabama Traction, Light & Power Company to consolidate hydro development sites in Alabama, and Alabama Power Company was in business. The dam was completed and began generating electricity in 1914. The lock location where the dam was built was Lock 12.