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Holtwood Dam, Lancaster

(4.4/5 based on 20+ reviews on the web)
Holtwood Dam is the oldest of three major dams built across the lower Susquehanna River, and the middle location of the three. It was constructed as the McCalls Ferry Dam between 1905 and 1910 by the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company. The dam was renamed Holtwood in honor of two company executives. PW&P merged with the current owner of the dam, Pennsylvania Power & Light, in 1955.Holtwood hydroelectric plantThe Holtwood Hydroelectric Plant produces 109 Megawatts of power, using 10 turbine driven generators. The dam consists of a main concrete dam, which is mostly one continuous spillway, with a power house at the eastern end. The water level is raised by wooden flash boards and inflatable dam sections.The western end of the dam has the original, and ineffective, fish ladder. In the mid 1990s, construction started on a fish lift. The fish lift and dam were damaged by heavy rain and rapid snowmelt from the severe 1996 flood in January of that year. The new fish lift was completed in time for the 1997 season and began lifting american shad and other migratory fish species.The Kingsbury thrust bearing of Holtwood's Generator No. 5 is designated an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. Previously used roller bearings would last about 2 months under the generator's 220 ton load, but the Kingsbury bearing has been in use since 1912.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I'm by no means an expert kayaker, but there is a great "play area" for experience kayakers on the York side of the Dam. On the south side of the nearby Norman Wood Bridge, there is enjoyable and more...  more »
  • This is a great place. If you go the cliffs to jump and the more secluded areas just be mindful that there are a lot of teenagers and college kids there, so there's a lot of trash and not always a kid...  more »
  • see many birds feeding here when the turbines are running...eagles screaming and soaring ......fishing is sort of a kill joy....water runs too fast .....  more »