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Chalk Hill Dam and Hydroelectric Plant

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1926–1927, Holland, Ackerman and Holland. Menominee River, Menominee County G18, 5 miles west of Banat

The Northern Electric Company, under the authority of the Railroad Commission of Wisconsin, constructed this dam at Chalk Hill, fifty-eight miles upstream from the point where the Menominee River flows into Green Bay. It is one of twelve hydroelectric plants operated today by the Wisconsin Electric Power Company along the banks of the Menominee or its tributaries. Four others on the Menominee River are operated by other electric and paper companies and municipalities. The Menominee forms the border between Michigan and Wisconsin. The Chalk Hill project includes a powerhouse, 133 × 36 feet in plan; a 300-foot-long spillway constructed of reinforced concrete on bedrock with eleven tainter gates and a 27.7-foot head of water; and an earth dike. The steel-framed and brick-clad Collegiate Gothic powerhouse rests on a reinforced-concrete substructure set into bedrock. Its Craftsman-like interior resembles “a cathedral of power.” Stained glass, tiling, and wrought-iron work furnish the backdrop for the turbines. Identical to it is the White Rapids Hydroelectric Project, also erected by the Northern Electric Company, in 1927–1928, about 2 miles downstream. The Chalk Hill and, presumably, the White Rapids plants were designed by Holland, Ackerman and Holland, engineers of Ann Arbor and Chicago, and constructed by Siems, Helmer, Shaffner, Inc., of Minneapolis.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Chalk Hill Dam and Hydroelectric Plant", [Stephenson, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 541-541.

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