6 1/2 Miles East of Belton, SC

Holiday Shoals, Saluda River

Constructed 1904-1905, First Operation on November 25, 1905

Belton Power Company

The Belton Power Company was formed around 1903-1904 by John B. Adger and proposed to build a hydroelectric power plant on the Saluda River driving cotton mills in Belton and Williamston. The plant and electrical system were designed by J. E. Sirrine and construction started in late 1904. Operation began on November 25, 1905 producing approximately 4,000 HP. In the Electrical World, Volume 48 article, the three main generator are described as "...three 1,000-kw, three-phase, 2,300-volt, 60-cycle, revolving-field generators, each directly coupled to one set of three water wheels and running at a speed of 200 r.p.m." The fourth generator produced 2,300 volts at 600 RPM and was used during the night for lighting when the main generators were shut down. The first segment of the transmission line was 4.1 miles to the junction where a branch leads to the Belton Mills, a distance of 4.4 miles. The line to the Williamston Cotton Mills was 5 miles long. The electricity was used by the cotton mills during the daytime to consistently drive General Electric motors. The old steam plants at both mills were used as a source of auxiliary power.

An additional generator and powerhouse expansion was made years later. Eventually Holiday Shoals was sold to the Duke Power Company and is still in operation by Duke Energy (Duke Power Co.).

Industries & Towns Provided with Electricity (1904)

Belton, SC - Town of Belton and the Belton Mills (Cotton).

Williamston, SC - Town of Williamston and the Williamston Cotton Mills.

Transmission Lines, Poles & Insulators

The transmission lines consisted of three high voltage wires, telephone lines, and a single static wire on pine poles. A 48" equilateral triangle was created by the three wires, two of which supported on a crossarm and a third on the pole top. Two types of Locke porcelain pin bases are used, a No. 24 on the pole cap and No. 19 on the crossarm. Disconnect switches and turns on the line used strain insulators. Locke insulators were used and described as "...single petticoat type, have a diameter of 6 1/4-in, and an overall height of 5 3/4-in, and are made of brown porcelain." in the Electrical World, Volume 48 article (dimensions similar to the No. 303 in a 1904 Locke catalog, information by Elton Gish). An example of the Locke No. 303 insulator is not known to exist in the insulator collecting hobby.

Presently, the transmission line between the power plant and the original junction to Belton is now a modern Duke Energy line. The Right of Way (ROW) is maintained and little-to-no trace of the original 1904 line is visible. From the junction towards Williamston the ROW has been abandoned for years. A small section of poles, installed around the 1920s-1940s replacing the 1904 line, are standing in the woods and farm fields. Insulators on this line are brown two-piece Ohio-Brass muliparts on steel crossarms along with a metal static wire bracket and side-mounted brackets to support a telephone line.

Images of Holiday Shoals