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PPL's Hydroelectric Dam

Lake Wallenpaupack This concrete dam near Tafton was built by Pennsylvania Power & Light Company to supply water from the lake it built (Lake Wallenpaupack) to its hydroelectric station in Kimbles. Construction on the dam began in 1924 and was completed in 1926. It is 1,280 feet long and 70 feet high; the cost was $1,026,000. Simultaneously a wooden flow line was laid 3.5 miles from the lake to the hydroelectric station and surge tank at Kimbles. About 5,000,000 board feet of Douglas fir from Washington was used in its construction. Men, mules and steam-powered rollers were necessary to get this project completed. At that time the pipeline was recognized as being one of the longest of its kind in the world. In June 1926 the 44,000 kilowatt power plant began service. In 1956 to 1958 the company replaced the wooden pipeline with steel pipes 14 feet in diameter. Pennsylvania Power & Light Company formed Lake Wallenpaupack by submerging one hundred farms and 5,700 acres of land (half in Wayne County and half in Pike County). Buildings were razed and moved; trees, telephone poles, and roads were removed and rerouted. The lake has a 52 mile shoreline and is 13 miles long. It is 2 miles wide at the widest point, and 60 feet deep at the maximum point. The Leni-Lenape called the area "Wallenpaupack," which to them meant "a stream of swift and slow waters" The total cost of the entire Wallenpaupack project was about $8,000,000. The company is now known as PPL and its power plant is in Allentown. Its generating capacity is much more than it was in 1926. Presently PPL uses Lake Wallenpaupack to provide extra power during peak periods.

Text by Marge Hook and Gloria McCullough

Line Drawing by William Amptman

From 1993 through 2008 the Honesdale National Bank published an annual wall calendar, each featured 13 historic sites. The sites were chosen and researched by a committee of the historical society and artwork was commissioned to Judy Hunt and William Amptman by the bank.

This page was one month of the calendar and was made possible through the Wayne County Commissioners and a Tourism Promotion Committee’s Tourism Grant.