Adventures while walking about Auburn, Alabama and its environs...
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7 January 2019

Well, Dam!

In early January I decided to explore some woods in the southern part of Auburn along Moores Mill Creek. I had crossed the creek a few times while passing through and beyond the Grove Hill subdivision. Back in September of 2015 I had walked through the woods on public trails in the area and learned the hard way that I am highly allergic to yellow jacket bites. Looking at Google Maps, however, I saw that apparently there was a lake, Wilmore Lake, in this swath of woods (this is about 200 acres of land owned by the City of Auburn).

I decided that it was time to actually follow the creek downstream and find this lake.

As I learned fairly quickly, despite what Google Maps might indicate, there is no lake. Google Maps is not the only online source that seems to think there is a body of water here; several fishing websites also direct potential sportsmen to the area (for example). But, I assure you, there is no lake at this place (viewing satellite photos on Google Maps confirms there is no body of water, but the 'map' overlay seems to show one). Moores Mill Creek is quite active, though, and here are a couple of videos of me venturing in the water.

Obviously, there used to be a lake here, and after some more research, I'm pretty sure that Wilmore Lake was once a water supply for the City of Auburn (now Auburn gets its water from a larger reservoir farther to the south and east). Analyzing satellite maps of the city it appears that the lake was drained between 1980 and 1986 -- long before we had internet mapping sites. Why the data seems to be so out-of-date on many websites is a mystery to me.

Topics: creeks ruins


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