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This will make you appreciate our paved roads today

Alabama Power Company’s Warrior Reserve Steam in Walker County began operations in 1917 on the Warrior River. Later, it was named Gorgas in honor of Alabama native William Crawford Gorgas. During the 1920s, the plant supplied power for construction of Wilson Dam at Muscle Shoals. (Alabama Power Company)


(written in 1920)

Down at Gorgas the people have two means of egress and ingress. The road and river both navigable. At least the river is navigable all the time. Boats can only use the road during the rainy weather. When it is not raining the mud in the road becomes most too sticky for boats. Which fact probably caused Dave Sumner, of Gorgas, to perpetrate the following upon the editor last Saturday.

William Crawford Gorgas Steam Plant ca. 1937 (Library of Congress)

Don’t bother about me

A gentleman was coming up from Gorgas a few days ago over the road. He noticed a good hat lying in the road. He stooped down and picked up the hat, and was astonished to see the head of a man under the hat, and then heard a voice exclaim:

“Hey there! Put my hat back on my head.”

The astonished man then saw that the voice came from a fellow up to his ears in the mud.

“My friend, can I assist you?” he inquired.

“Don’t bother about me,” said the man, “I’ve got a darned good mule under me.”

William Crawford Gorgas Steam Plant ca. 1937 (Library of Congress)

Another good story

The Dave pulled another atrocity. He said he was walking along the road near Gorgas, a few days ago, and the sun was shining bright. The limb of a tree hung over the road, and a bird flying along, lit on the limb. The bird’s shadow was in the middle of the road. In a few minutes, the bird flew away, but its shadow remained in the road. It was stuck in the mud.


  1. Transcribed from The Mountain Eagle Jasper, Walker County, Alabama, Wednesday, February 11, 1920

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Daniel Norwood

    Worked there many times as Construction Super.

  2. Travis McAlpin

    spent many of days fishing there

  3. Karen Studdard

    My grandfather welded the rings onto one a ladder on the smoke stack.

  4. Harolyn Reeves

    that is nice haven’t been in that area are y’all over there now

  5. Anthony Holcomb

    Wonder how many tons of ash we hauled out of there so far?

  6. Willette Frazier

    My Dad worked there in the 1940’s. We lived there for several years. A lot of cinders in the air. I am a native of Walker County, Alabama.
    My thoughts remain there. Sweet Home, Alabama.

  7. Sherry Yielding Nelson

    Rode by there not too long ago! Went all the way to my Mom’s place at Averitt’s Camp just below the new I-22 overpass. Takes 1.5 hours by water on a slow Pontoon! Beautiful ride!

  8. Walt Riley

    I spent a number of years working there.

  9. Jerry Hopper

    Stephen L. Speed Butch Brooks Jim BaButch BrooksJim Bates

  10. Linda Martin Goodwin

    My Dad worked there in early ’50’s, they had some experimental “Gasfication” project when we lived there. one morning KABOOM it blew it’s stack and sent black soot everywhere, my Mother and me and my little brother were outside in the front of the house, my Dad having worked the nightshift was sleeping in a back bedroom, we ran in, found him, still sleeping and covered in black soot, (no a/c then, windows open) needless to say, he never lived that down, we always said and it was the truth, he could sleep thru ANYTHING! Sweet memories…..

  11. Horace Page

    I have hauled lot and lots of coal there back in the day.

  12. Gregory D. Spruill

    I’ve actually minned the coalfines impoundment and reclaim for the EPA at gorgas steam moved a lot of coal there myself

  13. Michael Barnett

    Permanently closed as of April.

  14. Frances Simmons Hughes

    My Mother said part of the property used for this plant had been owned by her parents.

    1. Frances Simmons Hughes

      I don’t know if the power company paid for the land or just took it. I don’t imagine it was more than 40 acres….but it meant a lot to them.

  15. Judd Hamilton

    Good story. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Jerry Hopper

    I worked there and raised my family was a awesome job a lot of great friends worked their it sad to know its not making power anymore
    Boilermakers Lo/108 Birmingham Ala

  17. Jerry Hopper

    Thank you for sharing this story

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