Lake Murray is a 50,000-acre man-made lake located in the heart of South Carolina, just west of Columbia. It borders the towns of Lexington, Irmo, and Chapin, which is often called the “Capital of Lake Murray.”
Lake Murray was named for the dam’s chief engineer, William S. Murray. It was created in 1930 as a result of the Saluda Dam (also called the Dreher Shoals Dam), which was once the largest earthen dam in the world. The dam stands 1.5 miles wide and 213 feet high; above, the intake towers peer above the still surface. The dam is an incredible site to see!
Originally inhabited by the Catawba and Cherokee Indians, the area that is now Lake Murray was ultimately settled by European immigrants, primarily of Dutch and German descent. In order to build Lake Murray, the Lexington Water Power Company relocated 5,000 citizens, removed three churches and six schools, and submerged 193 graveyards.
The largest section of Lake Murray is located in Lexington County, but portions also extend into Saluda, Newberry, and Richland counties. Lake Murray is owned by SCE&G and provides most of the electricity for the Midlands region.
More Pictures of Lake Murray
Reflections on Lake Murray
Contributor Keri Pendergrass, who captured the photo below, shares: “My new-found love of photography has inspired me to explore my backyard (so to speak). I’ve been able to share this love with my husband and daughter as well, going on photo expeditions and such. This particular day my daughter and I took a sunset stroll across the Lake Murray Dam in Lexington, and I was able to capture some very beautiful images. Here is one of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as we do.”