THE FALLS
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2013 POWER PLANT PROJECT

Crystal Falls Power Plant
April  17, 2002 - Spring run-off
10,200 cubic feet per second of river flow

VISITORS TODAY ASK "WHERE IS THE CRYSTAL FALLS?"  IN FACT, THE ONLY TIME THIS AREA LOOKS LIKE A FALLS AT ALL IS IN THE SPRING DURING THE SPRING RUN OFF. WITH THE BUILDING OF THE POWER PLANT IN THE 1890'S THE WATER FROM THE PAINT RIVER WAS BACKED UP INTO A RESERVOIR AND REROUTED THROUGH THE TURBINES TO LIGHT UP THE CITY.

ABOVE IS HOW  THE FALLS LOOKED IN THE EARLY 1880'S PRIOR TO THE BUILDING OF THE MUNICIPAL POWER PLANT.  THE PAINT RIVER SPILLED OVER THE ROCKS UNDER A BRIDGE.  IN THE BACKGROUND IS A RAILROAD BRIDGE, LONG SINCE REMOVED, HOWEVER, THE ABUTMENTS ARE STILL VISIBLE IN THE AREA UPSTREAM FROM THE CITY POWER PLANT.

BELOW IS A PHOTO OF THE BUILDING OF THE DAM THAT NOW BACKS UP THE RESERVOIR BEHIND THE POWER PLANT.  THE POWER PLANT ITSELF IS THE BUILDING DIRECTLY BEHIND THE  1929 MODEL "A" TRUCK.  THIS PHOTO WAS TAKEN AUGUST 6, 1931.

TO THIS DAY, THE CITY OWNS AND OPERATES THE POWER PLANT WHICH GENERATES ENOUGH ELECTRICITY FOR ABOUT 1/3 THE DEMAND OF THE CITY.  THE BALANCE OF THE ELECTRICITY NEEDED IS PURCHASED FROM WISCONSIN ELECTRIC POWER CO.  THE RESIDENTS OF THE AREA ENJOY VERY REASONABLE ELECTRIC RATES DUE TO THE OPERATION OF THIS POWER PLANT.

For information on other waterfalls in Iron County click here.