This history of industry and energy development around Mooresville, North Carolina tells the story of the early use of harnessing hydropower for the textile industry, and resulted in the creation of Lake Norman.
The year 1957 brought change to Mooresville and southern Iredell County, and that change arrived in trucks. Big white ones flashed the logo of Burlington Industries, the new owners of the Mooresville Cotton Mills. Bright yellow ones from the Duke Power Company brought earth-moving machines to clear the Catawba River bottomland. That project, envisioned by James Buchanan Duke, Dr. Gill Wylie, and William States Lee Jr., had the end goal of harnessing the energy of the Catawba River to provide electricity for the textile industry in the Carolinas. Duke Power's plan for Cowans Ford Lake was the last piece of the network of hydroelectric stations, and the result was beautiful Lake Norman.
About the Author
Author Cindy Jacobs is a Mooresville native whose historical research looks at the interdependence of the town and the river from its earliest days. As the founder and executive editor of the first publication for the growing Lake Norman community, Lake Norman Magazine, she experienced much of the change brought to her hometown and tells a story of Lake Norman from a "Wow, can you believe it?" perspective.