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Turning back the clock


October 18, 2018

Photo contributed

The Wisconsin Historical Society has a great image gallery titled, "From Water to Power" which highlights the Prairie du Sac Dam on the Wisconsin River. According to the gallery essay, "The Prairie du Sac Dam on the Wisconsin River has been powering communities in the area since 1914. The idea of constructing a hydroelectric power plant to harness the power of the river came from Norwegian immigrant, engineer and inventor Magnus Swenson. Although it took a little more than a decade for the dam to prove profitable, Swenson was ultimately proven correct and the surrounding areas of Sauk and Columbia counties have benefited from the dam's electric power production as well as the creation of Lake Wisconsin behind the dam." The full image gallery of the dam and power plant's construction, taken by local photographer Frank S. Eberhart are featured in an online gallery essay which can be found by visiting, This particular photos shows an elevated group of workers posing on the east bank of the Wisconsin River at the power dam construction site. One man is strumming his shovel like a banjo; another man is standing atop a railroad car. They are working on the track for the narrow gauge electric railroad.

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