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Yadkin River and the Trading Ford - Narrows of the Yadkin

The Narrows of the Yadkin

The Narrows of the Yadkin was an area in Montgomery and Stanly Counties where the river’s flow was constricted by the Uwharrie Mountains.  Anson, Davidson, Montgomery, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, and Stanley counties in the central piedmont of North Carolina comprise an area called the Uwharrie Lakes Region. The Uwharrie River joins the Yadkin to form the Pee Dee River, which then flows through South Carolina to the Atlantic Ocean. The Yadkin-Pee Dee River forms a common boundary between these seven counties. Six manmade lakes can be found on this boundary: Badin Lake, Blewett Falls Lake, Falls Lake, High Rock Lake, Lake Tillery, and Tuckertown Reservoir .

The Whitney Dam Project was started in 1901 a few miles above the Narrows of the Yadkin River and close to the village of Palmerville. This project was to provide hydro-electric power for the Whitney mining operations and a new resort town on the resulting lake. A canal was dug, a clubhouse built, and plans were laid out for the town. But in 1907 the Whitney project declared bankruptcy.  In 1912, L'Aluminium Francais, a French company, bought the Whitney holdings and continued work on the dam. A new survey late in 1912, caused them to abandon the current site and begin a few miles downstream at the Narrows of the Yadkin. Again, the dam was started and a clubhouse built. A small town was laid out and named after the manager of the project, Adrien Badin. The work continued until World War I broke out in Europe, when many French workers returned home.   Operations were halted and a buyer was sought for its unfinished project.  In November of 1915, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) paid a bargain price for the half finished plant and town and work on the dam and the town continued.  With the completion of the Badin Dam, the Narrows of the Yadkin were submerged under Badin Lake, which is also referred to as the Narrows Reservoir.

No series no., no documentation.


“Yadkin-PeeDee River and It’s Tributaries” Salisbury Post  December 23, 1984 “History Of Carolina Lakes -- Manmade For Man”

Badin Historic Musuem

Powell, William S. North Carolina Gazetteer Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968

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