Home Stake Hydro 1911

From across the creek
1911 powerhouse still in use

Some of the most interesting and cool things are discovered quite by accident. We were out on our scooters yesterday and heard a constant low rumble coming from across the creek near our campground. We found this old electricity generating plant that is still in operation. So today we scooted over to the other side and went up to the door and asked Steve, the supervisor, if we could take a few pictures of the building and grounds. “Of course! and if you would like a tour, come back after lunch and I will show you around ” We ended up spending a most pleasant and exciting 2 hours chatting with a new friend. Warren and Steve hit it off like old buddies. I followed around taking video and pictures while they talked shop, politics and world affairs. A living history museum and useful modern world functionality all in one place. What a great experience!

Old building next to modern equipment
Small sub-station
Old Redwood water pipes were replaced with plastic in modern times
Water turbine
Water turbines like sculptures
Love the old signs
Hands on models and tools
Antique Westinghouse AC Generator
Antique Edison DC Generator
Antique switching panel
6 foot tall electric crane
What is this Termesphere doing here? Check my post about Dick Termesphere to see if I get an answer when we visit the gallery on Wednesday
Westinghouse generator and Pelton waterwheel
Control panel with lots a switches, gauges etc
Commutator and Brushes on generator
Hot but dry inside so not unbearable
Large knife switch
Gauges of all sorts everywhere
Generating power with water
Big fans but no AC
Old coal stove
Valves to feed water to system
Work ladder into the icy water
Ladder that Steve uses to enter that really cold water to make repairs and clear blockages

The hydro-plant and its workings was constructed a century-ago and was brought on line around 1911. Homestake Mining Company used the electricity from the plant to power mining and logging operations in the area. Spearfish currently operates the plant on a license granted to Homestake, which sold the plant to the city in 2004 for $250,000, after the company had closed its gold mine in Lead. It still provides power to the grid.

For a great little history lesson about the plant see below :


Published by karenebarker

Free Range Human traveling North America by RV with her Beloved

8 thoughts on “Home Stake Hydro 1911

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