In 1921 the Federal Power Commission granted Alabama Power Company a license to construct a dam across the Coosa River near Clanton, downstream from Lay Lake, at a location called Duncan’s Riffle. The dam and lake are named for former Alabama Power Company President James Mitchell. An internationally known electrical engineer, Mitchell came to Alabama in 1911 to survey its potential for hydroelectric power development. Construction of Mitchell Dam, Alabama Power Company’s second hydroelectric plant, was completed in 1923 and it has been busy producing hydro power ever since.
Mitchell Dam is the second-oldest of 14 Alabama Power Company hydroelectric generating plants. The dam was named for James Mitchell, Alabama Power president from 1912 to 1920.
Located on the Coosa River near Verbena, the dam straddles the Chilton and Coosa County line.
A unique feature of the new powerhouse, which was completed in 1985, is a 1,140-foot floating trash boom that deflects trash from the powerhouse intakes.
A fishing facility located below the dam is open year-round to the public. Parking, restrooms, picnic tables and an overlook are also available for public use.
The story of Mitchell Dam and Mitchell Lake began as a story of energy. It continues today as a story of flood control, recreation and economic opportunity, irrigation and drinking water, and fish and wildlife habitats. Power was just the beginning.
Mitchell Reservoir Facts:
Elevation above sea level: 312 feet
Area: 5,850 acres
Shoreline: 147 miles
Length: 14 miles
Maximum depth at dam: 90 feet
Area of watershed draining into reservoir: 9,827 square miles