December 4, 1906
William Patrick Lay incorporated the Alabama Power Company in Gadsden. Lay intended to construct the company’s first hydroelectric on the Coosa River near Clanton but failed to secure funding for the project. After selling his company to electric power systems developer James Mitchell, however, the Lock 12 Dam was completed on December 31, 1913, and went into service on April 12, 1914. Now known as Lay Dam, the plant contains six generators, each producing 29,500 kilowatts of electricity. Lay Lake, formed by the creation of the dam, encompasses 12,000 acres, providing 289 miles of shoreline for outdoor recreational activities that includes boating, fishing, and swimming.