Learn about Keuka Lake power generating plant

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
The Keuka Power plant

In the early 1900s, the need for electrical power to be more readily available to the general public in the central New York State area gave Robert O. Hayt, Village Engineer for Painted Post/Corning, the idea of developing a plan for utilizing hydroelectric power to meet the growing demand. The Lamoka Power Corporation was founded in 1915. The original plan was to construct a large dam south of Lamoka Lake and raise the waters of both Lamoka and Waneta Lakes to provide a large source of water for the power plant.  Even though a smaller dam was erected and still exists at the west end of Lamoka Lake, the larger dam was never constructed. 

About the same time, Ellis L. Phillips, born in the town of Italy in Yates County, and a graduate of Cornell University, had begun formulating plans to meet the demand for power on Long Island and upstate New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania.

After World War I, he joined the efforts in upstate New York with Lamoka Power Corporation. Its goal was to construct a hydroelectric plant on Keuka Lake.

The hydroelectric plant was constructed in the Town of Wayne and commenced generating electric power on the same day the Great Depression began in October 1929. The plant derived its water supply via a canal and penstock (pipeline) system from nearby Waneta and Lamoka Lakes.

Join the Town of Wayne History Group Saturday, June 17, 2 p.m. at the Town of Wayne Hall on 9772 Silsbee Road in Wayne to hear Vinnie Nykiel’s presentation on this project, “The Town of Wayne Hydroelectric Production and The Dam That Wasn’t – 1910-2017.” Vinnie has been a resident of the Keuka Village area for many years.

This presentation is open to the public and refreshments will be served. For further details, please call 607-292-3450.

If you go

What: Wayne History Group presentation

When: 2 p.m. June 17

Where: Wayne Town Hall, 9772 Silsbee Road, Wayne.