Santee Dam

Approximately 15 miles S of Manning on Hwy. 26.  It is the most sizeable earthen dam in South Carolina – 8 miles long.  Lake Marion is names in honor of General Francis Marion, the Revolutionary War Hero, “The Swamp Fox.”  The upper of the two reservoirs, it comprises 110,600 acres of water.  Lake Moultrie, larger than the Sea of Galilee, comprises 60,400 acres and is the lower and smaller reservoir.  It is named after General William Moultrie, another Revolutionary War Hero, who also designed the State Flag of SC.  The 7 ½ mile long Diversion Canal connects Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie.  The Santee Dam and Spillway, completed in November, 1941, has 62 taintor gates in the Spillway section.  Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, since their completion in 1942, have drawn every-increasing numbers of fisherman seeking the many kinds of fish that abound there, in particular the Striped Rock Bass, normally an ocean fish.  When the dam gates were closed, the stripers were landlocked in the reservoir and began to produce in the fresh water.  Some weigh up to 50 lbs.  Countless vacation cottages and homes have been built along the 475 miles of shoreline.  “Santee Cooper Country” is important today for its value to sportsmen and for the electric power it was built to produce.  Thus – for all practical purposes – the Santee and Cooper Rivers are now one and the same except during the discharge of major flood waters.