Door Opening Birthday for Bagnell
"It was pretty cool that I got to do it and that I won't get to do it for another 25 years for the 100th anniversary," said visitor Casey White.
This was White's second trip to the dam, and it's a special experience.
"There is a lot of pride in it. We keep these units running and we make this power plant happen. It's fun because the public shows an interest in it," said hydro-maintence technician K.C. Runge.
Generations of people took tours inside the dam as they celebrated it's 75th anniversary and the birthday of the Lake of the Ozarks.
"Casey actually came here with his school class last Thursday and did the tour, and came home and asked me if I'd come over with him. He thinks it's neat and I have a feeling I have a future engineer," said visitor Bob White.
For current staff at the dam, it's fun for them to show off the place they work.
"Everybody pitched in and it was a lot of work but it was a lot of fun."
These rare tours inside the dam made the experience for the White's one they won't forget.
"It was 1968 I think when I did this tour and it's neat to see. It's just sad that we can't do things like this like we used too," added White.
The anniversary celebration continues Sunday. Dam tours will start at 8:00 a.m. and leave every fifteen minutes until 3:00 p.m. There will also be music and a cook out. Cameras aren't allowed inside the structure, but if you get the chance, it is very cool to get inside and take a look.
More information on the Bagnell Dam:
20,000 people built the dam and they worked 24 hours a day for 18 months until it's completion.
Eight generators operate in the dam during peak power usage though two additional "house" generators provide power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These small house generators have the capacity to "jump-start" the power grid in the event of a blackout. They can be started from a blackout and are then used to bring other hydro-electric and even plants like the Callaway Power Plant online.
The 8 Large Westing House A.C. Generators turn at 112 R.P.M. and produce 13,800 A.C. volts. The house generators turn at 327 R.PM. At least one of the house generators has been running for 75 years since the dam was brought online.
The power station lies on the Osage River four miles above Bagnell, 136 miles from St. Louis, and 75 miles above confluence of Osage and Missouri rivers.
The reservoir runs for 129 miles with a shore length of 1,300 miles and a width ranging from 1-5 miles. It is located in seven different counties in Missouri including Camden, St. Clair, and Hickory counties.