Former Carbonton Dam Site - Deep River - Chatham/Lee County

If you are headed West on NC 42 near the Deep River Bridge, you will notice a hulking brick structure on your right.  That building is the remnants of the former hydroelectric Carbonton Dam.  The dam, which was the first electrical power plant in the Sandhills, was built in 1921, although damming the river at Carbonton dates back to the early 1800s. 
The dam had been providing power to the local area until 2004.  Originally built by Sandhills Power Company, the dam was run by a small Burlington energy company when it ceased operation. (1)  In the fall of 2005, Restoration Systems, LLC began demolition of the dam.  The work was completed in 2006.  The demolition returned the Deep River to its natural flow something that had not been seen in over 150 years.
Today, you can easily access the dam's remains as there is now a local park immediately downstream from dam.  Park there and walk around a bit.  It's a great place to explore.

All photos taken by post author - June 2007.

  • (1) Restoration Systems, LLC.  "Projects/Case Studies - Carbonton Dam." (June 30, 2007)
  • Chatham and Lee County Roadtrip ---Sure, Why Not?
  • Carbonton Dam Removal ---George Howard


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