Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Coker family on Lake Murray.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Lake Murray!

Lake Murray website
Lake Murray on Facebook

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 388-8011

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mel's Lake Murray app

Scan this for my Lake Murray app:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Call MEL COKER to sell your home on Lake Murray!

My NEW sign for "luxury" homes - those priced 3 times higher than the local market average price. Have a higher priced home or Lake Murray waterfront home to sell? Call Mel Coker.

Selling on Lake Murray?  Contact Mel Coker.

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Realtor, Lake Murray Resident
(803) 223-6214 (office)

Lake Murray website

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lake Murray Home Sales Analysis

Mel Coker's Analysis of Lake Murray Home Sales

Homes on Lake Murray in the Chapin area
I have completed a detailed analysis of Lake Murray home sales* over the past (almost) 11 years.    2006 was the "high-water mark" for home sales on Lake Murray by most measurements. 

Please keep in mind that sales prices on Lake Murray can vary widely due to a number of factors, including: location, view, amount of water frontage, age of home, construction quality of home.  And, the lake is relatively large, encompassing 4 counties (Richland, Lexington, Saluda, Newberry) and over 620 miles of shoreline.  During the past 3 years, the breakdown on sales among areas of the lake are:
Irmo/Chapin (Richland and Lexington Counties): #163 (49.2%), Avg. Price $497,705
Lexington (South side of the lake): #80 (24.2%), Avg. Price $541,382
Newberry County: #58 (17.5%), Avg. Price $340,206
Saluda County: #29 (8.8%), Avg. Price $304,585

In 2006, there were 139 closings on Lake Murray, with an average sales price of $560,091.  There were also 11 closings of homes valued at $1 million or more.  By comparison: in 2011, 120 closings with average sales price of $477,642 and  5 closings of homes valued at %1 million or more.

Lake Murray Closings 2002 - 2012 (estimated)

For 2012, there have been 107 closings thru September 30th, with an average sales price of $447,982.  This average price is down 6.2% since 2011 and down 20.0% since 2006.  I estimate there will be 138 closings for the year in 2012, the 3rd straight year of increased number of closings.  Also, the number of closings will be in line with the number of closings seen in 2006-2007.  Pricing remains down over the past 3 years in line with pricing seen during 2004-2005.

Lake Murray Average Prices 2002 - 2012

More interesting data: there were 4 straight years of fewer closings between 2006-2009.  This resulted in two consecutive years of lower average prices during 2009-2010, with 2010 down 10.5%.  With increasing numbers of closings again over the past 3 years, I expect in time prices will also begin to increase somewhat.

As of October 10th, there are 200 homes for sale on Lake Murray with an average asking price of $672,382 (it's evident, that "the market" is for the lower priced and smaller homes).   These "listed" homes on average are larger too (by 17%) than the average square footage for homes closed so far in 2012.  There are 26 homes priced at $1 million or more - only one sale so far in 2012 at $1 million or more.  So, it's a buyer's market for million dollar homes!

Lake Murray was named as one of the Top Ten Lakes in America for Boating and Living by Boating Magazine in 2011.   Compared to most other nice lakes, Lake Murray offers tremendous value.  When you are ready to BUY (or sell) at Lake Murray, contact Mel Coker.   Mel lives on Lake Murray and owns and maintains this blog and a Lake Murray website.  Mel knows Lake Murray!

Mel Coker
Member: RE/MAX Hall of Fame
Lake Murray Realtor and Resident
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 318-2007
Columbia Real Estate

*For purposes of my analysis, I measured Lake Murray homes sales with the following criteria: minimum 1200 square feet, 75 feet water frontage, minimum price $175,000.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lake Murray Video

Link to video

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident and Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wanted: Facebook Love for Lake Murray Real Estate Page

I Need Some Facebook LOVE LIKES!
Please LIKE my Facebook Page.

My COLUMBIA & LAKE MURRAY REAL ESTATE page on Facebook is relatively new, so I need some "LIKES" to get a higher standing with Facebook.  Please consider taking a moment to link over to my page and clicking on LIKE to help me out.  THANK YOU!

Several people will be selected by random drawing among those "LIKING" my page between September 25th and October 31st (2012) to win a Chic-Fil-A gift card.

CLICK: Mel Coker's Real Estate Facebook Page

Mel Coker
Columbia's Technology Realtor!
RE/MAX Metro Associates

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marine Fuel Stablilizer

Sta-Bil Marine Formula Fuel Stabilizer.  This stuff works!
I use it every time I add fuel to my boat or personal watercraft.

From the manufacturer:  Extra corrosion protection and fuel system cleaning: Keeps fuel fresh, prevents gum and varnish; Prevents corrosion from moisture and ethanol-induced water attraction; Cleans fuel injectors and intake valves to improve engine performance.

It is especially effective for gasoline with ethanol.  The price is really great at Amazon.  It's actually very inexpensive compared to possibly high repair bills due to repairs on motors with damage or hard starting due to moisture in gasoline.

The marine (green bottle)formula is the way to go compared to the original (red) formula.  It costs more for 32 ounces (about  35% more), BUT, it really is much less expensive.   The reason: the red formula calls for one ounce per 2.5 gallons of gasoline, whereas the marine (green) formula calls for only one ounce per 10 gallons of gasoline.   So, it lasts 4 times longer for a bottle, resulting in pricing about 66% lower.   Thirty-two ounces of marine formula will treat 320 gallons.  The original formula, priced slightly lower for the bottle, will only treat 80 gallons.

Buy a bottle (or two) today of Sta-Bil Marine Formula to protect and make your boat motor perform better.

Marine Formula Sta - Bil

Mel Coker Uses Sta-Bil Marine Formula

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident & Realtor
Chapin, SC
RE/MAX Metro Associates

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

500 Columbia, SC Real Estate Closings

Coming Soon: Mel Coker's 500th Real Estate Closing
Very soon, I will have my 500th Columbia (S.C.) real estate closing.
That's 500 closings since 1998 covering Columbia, Northeast Columbia, Lexington, West Columbia, Cayce, Irmo, Chapin, Prosperity, Saluda, Elgin and Lake Murray.  I've enjoyed helping many families and individuals buy and sell in the Greater Columbia area.  And, I'm looking forward to an improving economy and helping many more clients buy, sell and relocate.

My 500 closings represent an average of over 33 closings per year and a total sales volume in excess of $83 Million.  During these 15 years, I have only worked at two Columbia real estate firms.  For the past 11 1/2 years, I have been associated with the world leader in Real Estate sales - RE/MAX.  In 2006, I was inducted into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame for sales volume leadership.

My 500th real estate closing client will receive a special gift package in recognition of this special milestone.  Will it be you?    When you're ready to BUY or SELL in Greater Columbia, contact Mel Coker.

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Columbia Real Estate Website
Columbia MLS Search
(803) 223-6214 office
Mel Coker's email

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lake Murray Sunset

Lake Murray sunset taken August 23rd at South end of Dreher Shoals Dam on Lake Murray.

CLICK:  Mel Coker's Lake Murray Website

CLICK:  Mel Coker's Real Estate Website

Monday, August 20, 2012

Boating Safety: Propeller Dangers

A whirling cutting machine, spinning at 3200 rpm, able to inflict 160 impacts in a second.
Sound like the diabolical weapon of a movie villain? Think again – it's the three-blade
propeller on your boat.

Children and other passengers love to dangle their legs over the side as a boat speeds through the water. They think it's fun and exciting. Maybe so, but it's also illegal, and extremely dangerous.

Passengers riding with legs over the side can easily slip, fall in the water, and be struck by a moving propeller. This is particularly true in a pontoon-type boat, where the pontoons "funnel" a passenger who slips off the front of the deck directly into the propeller blades.

For these reasons "bowriding" as well as riding on a seatback, gunwale (side), transom (rear), or swim platform while the boat is moving at greater that 5 miles per hour may be considered negligent operation and, in some cases, grossly negligent operation. A propeller can continue to spin after an engine is put into neutral, or even for some time after it is turned off, posing a hazard for swimmers, skiers, and tubers.

I saw an Internet article published today about a girl being cut by a propeller after falling from a boat on a Georgia lake.  This has happened at Lake Murray too - even resulting in death.  Link to article  

Please be careful of propellers while driving a boat or in the water around boats!

Don't Wreck Your Summer Video from U.S. Coast Guard

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Wakeboard on Lake Murray

Wakeboard or Surf or AirChair on Lake Murray!
Get on the water or above the water... Summer Fun!



Barbara - Even old fashioned water skiing


 Pictures by Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates

Friday, August 10, 2012

Time Lapse Photography at Lake Murray

Check out my first TIME LAPSE photography at Lake Murray below.  This was filmed using my new Brinno camera on August 8th.  It was filmed over 7 hours and compressed (time lapse) into just over 1 minute. 
Click Here for my Vimeo page.

An Afternoon on Lake Murray in Time Lapse (Enhanced) from Mel Coker on Vimeo.

Buy the cool time lapse Brinno camera here:

Brinno TLC200 Time Lapse and Stop Motion HD Video Camera - Blue

Mel Coker

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lake Murray 360 Panorama

This is really COOL!
My first 360 Panorama taken at our Lake Murray home near Chapin, South Carolina.
(be sure to "drag" the picture right or left to see the entire 360 degree panorama)

CLICK THIS LINK TO VIEW - this is so cool!

 More 360 Panorama pictures coming soon.

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor

Lake Murray Information

I've created a new printable Lake Murray Facts sheet in PDF format:

Click Here to View or Print:  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Church Services On Lake Murray

What better than to attend Church On Lake Murray (lakeside in an outdoor shelter) and then enjoy a Sunday on the Lake?
Yes, it's possible thanks to the wonderful Lakeshore Services ministry of Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church located near Prosperity, S.C.    The Sunday morning lakeshore service began in 1970 under the direction of Rev. Clarence L. Richardson and has continued to this day.

Worshippers come by boat, car, or on foot to sit beneath the shady trees along the beautiful waterfront.   The lakeshore service starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. and runs from May 20th thru September 16th (2012).   We have attended previously and afterwards headed over to Buffalo Creek Grill & Marina for their Sunday morning breakfast buffet.  

Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church is located near Dreher Island State Park at: 49 Macedonia Church Road (Prosperity, SC)

CLICK HERE for more information
Great Aerial Pictures of Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church

Macedonia Evangelical Lutheran Church on Lake Murray

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Crayne's Landing - Featured Lake Murray Business

Crayne's Landing has been around for many years on Lake Murray.  Charlie Johnson is now the owner-operator.   Crayne's Landing is located at 26 Crayne's Loop in the Prosperity area (off Wheeland Road between St. Peters Church Road and Macedonia Church Road - just minutes out of Chapin).

Charlie Johnson at Crayne's Landing

Crayne's Landing features the following amenities: boat ramp, fishing pier (free with bait purchase), mini-mart with bait and tackle, and paddleboat, kayak & jon boat rentals.   Stop in soon and let Charlie know that you saw the blog article on his business at .  The business number for Crayne's Landing is (803) 271-2577.

Crayne's Landing Fishing Pier (free with bait purchase)

Bait, Tackle, Food items & More

Friday, July 13, 2012


Mel Coker SELLS Lake Murray!
Need to Buy or Sell on or near Lake Murray?  Contact Mel Coker

Why Choose Mel Coker?
Mel Sells Lake Murray.  Mel lives on Lake Murray.  Mel has fun on Lake Murray.
  • Real Estate Professionalism!  Mel is a Realtor (not all real estate agents are Realtors... be careful!)
  • Mel holds important real estate designations (achieved by attending on-going professional training courses):  CRS, ABR, GRI, ePRO, SRES
  • Life-long Columbia area resident
  • Mel lives on Lake Murray in the Chapin area
  • Mel knows all areas of Lake Murray
  • Boat Tours available upon request
  • FREE Lake Murray map for potential buyers
  • Lake Murray Closing Gift Package for buyers
  • Mel owns and maintains TWO Lake Murray websites:  Website  &  Blog

Call Mel Coker at: (803) 388-8011 or email

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Realtor!
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Columbia, SC

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Home For Sale With Lake Murray Access (Chapin, SC)

For Sale: 417 Jasmine Key Lane; Chapin, SC
Located in Magnolia Key Subdivision
Price Reduced to $300,000!

A very nice all brick home in the popular Chapin area with access to Lake Murray has now been reduced to sell quickly.  This well-maintained home has 4 bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms.  Enjoy your backyard oasis which features a screened porch, deck and 16x32' pool.

The community features a boat ramp and boat storage area for easy access to Lake Murray -- named in 2011 by Boating Magazine as one of the Top 10 Lake in the United States for boating and living!  Nearby (app. 1/2 mile) is Timberlake Golf and Country Club.   Have children?  You will appreciate the highly rated Lexington School District 5 Chapin schools.
Lake Murray website

CLICK HERE for home virtual tour

Ready to view this home or ANY other home in the Greater Columbia / Lake Murray area?
Contact Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 388-8011
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lake Murray eBook

I created a LAKE MURRAY eBOOK several years ago. View my book for Lake Murray information!

LINK to eBook 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lake Murray Waterfront Lot For Sale

132 Quiet Cove Drive; Chapin, South Carolina
Beautiful Waterfront Lot on Lake Murray

Quiet Cove Drive - Waterfront on Lake Murray
Buy your lot now and build your custom Lake Murray home.  This .36 acre lot has 104 feet water frontage with an excellent view of popular Lake Muray.  This awesome lake was named by BOATING MAGAZINE as a Top Ten Lake in the United States for Boating and Living (2011).
More Lake Murray information

The lot is dock approved and has a partially completed dock in place (deck platform).  The lot is on deep water and overlooks the Bear Creek area of Lake Murray.  The community has city water and sewer.  Rip rap has already been installed on the lot's shoreline.

This beautiful wooded lot is located near the Timberlake Golf Course. Timberlake is one of the most unique golf courses in the Greater Columbia area and the only one with panoramic views of Lake Murray. Timberlake Country Club is now member owned. Facilities include a clubhouse, restaurant, lounge, fitness center, pool and tennis courts. The golf course was designed by Willard Byrd.
Timberlake Country Club information

Offered at $250,000 (competitive price analysis completed)

Build Your Custom Lake Murray Home

Want more information?
CLICK to visit Mel Coker's Virtual Tour
or, call Mel Coker at (803) 388-8011.
Call Mel Coker for ANY Lake Murray home or lot.
Mel lives on Lake Murray.  Mel knows Lake Murray.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Public Parks at Lake Murray's Dam Now Open

SCE&G’s public parks on the Lexington and Irmo sides of the Dreher Shoals Dam at Lake Murray are now open for the 2012 season.

The boat-launching park on the Irmo side will remain open through Labor Day. The beach/recreation area on the Lexington side will remain open through Sept. 14.

Operating hours will be Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. until May 4, after which the park will stay open until 8 p.m. Weekend and holiday hours are from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Parking fees are charged during normal operating hours to partially offset the cost of maintenance, security and improvements at the parks. Fees for motorcycles are $2. Car and truck fees are $3. The fee for buses is $5. Season passes can be purchased for $45 per vehicle.

The public boat launch has two ramps and is open 24 hours a day. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Restrooms and picnic facilities are available. For additional information, call SCE&G’s Lake Management Department at 803-217-9221

Be safe while boating and participating in water activities at Lake Murray

Saturday, May 5, 2012

NEW Mobile App for Lake Murray Searches

The most user-friendly real estate search app out there is NOW available from RE/MAX!  Use the App to search for Lake Murray homes!  Call Mel Coker for assistance or to BUY your Lake Murray home.

As an example of the efficiency and usefulness of mobile apps... My wife and I were looking for a beach vacation home back in 2010 and we identified the home and details for the home we eventually bought initially with a mobile app while driving near the home in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.

The best feature?  Get instant access to nearby homes for sale along with many other useful features such as photos, turn-by-turn directions and more.

Link For YouTube Video for RE/MAX Mobile App
Or, Search on RE/MAX  for your SmartPhone Apps

Ready to BUY?  Call Mel Coker at (803) 388-8011 or email Mel Coker.

Mel Coker
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 223-6214  Office
Mel Coker Real Estate Website
Columbia, SC MLS Search
Lake Murray website 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lake Murray Water Elevation

Lake Murray: Popular from Outer Space!
Lake Murray water elevation typically only has a range of about 3-4 feet in change between late spring/early summer highs and the low level during winter.   The typical summer high is in the 358-359 feet above sea level to a winter low of typically 354-355 feet above sea level.

2012: Lake Murray Water Elevation (feet)
January 1:  355.35
January 31:  356.42
February 29:  356.91
Current - March 7:  357.2

Lake Murray Real-time Water Data (USGS)

Mel Coker's Lake Murray website

Mel Coker's Lake Murray Amazon Store
(Buy Sta-bil at the BEST price here, a must use in your boat, and more)

Summer 2011: Wake Surfing on Lake Murray

Taxes in South Carolina

Considering Relocation to South Carolina and Lake Murray?
An Overview of Taxes in South Carolina

Sales Taxes

State Sales Tax: 6% (prescription drugs and unprepared food items exempt); 25 counties impose an additional 1% local option sales tax; a number of counties impose a 2% sales tax.  Seniors 85 and older pay 5%.
Gasoline Tax: 16.8 cents/gallon
Diesel Fuel Tax: 16.8 cents/gallon
Cigarette Tax: 57 cents/pack of 20

Personal Income Taxes

Tax Rate Range: Low – 3.0%; High – 7%; No tax on the first $2,630 of taxable income in tax year 2007.
Income Brackets: ** Lowest – $2,740; Highest – $13,701
Number of Brackets: 6
Personal Exemptions: * Single – $3,700; Married – $7,400; Dependents – $3,700
Standard Deduction:  Single – $5,700; Married filing jointly – $11,400
Medical/Dental Deduction: Federal amount
Federal Income Tax Deduction:  None
Retirement Income Taxes: Retirement income is taxed. Social Security is exempt.   Under age 65, $3,000 in pension income is exempt.  If you are 65 or older you may exempt $15,000 of retirement income.  You can take this deduction for income received from any qualified retirement plan.  If both spouses receive retirement income, each spouse is entitled to an individual deduction. The $15,000 deduction must be offset by any other retirement deduction that is claimed.  A surviving spouse may continue to tacke a retirement deduction on behalf of the deceased spouse. Some taxpayers age 65 and older may not have to file a tax return if they meet certain conditions.  For more information,click here.
Retired Military Pay: Retirees with 20 or more years of active duty can deduct up to $3,000 annually until age 65 and up to $10,000 per year after age 65.  This deduction extends to the surviving spouse.  Pension or retirement income received for time served in the National Guard or Reserve components is not taxable.  Survivor benefits are taxed following federal tax rules.
Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before Sept. 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.
VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.
Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

Property Taxes

Property tax is assessed and collected by local governments.  Both real and personal property are subject to tax. The market value of a legal residence and up to 5 acres of surrounding land is assessed at 4%.  For homeowners 65 and older, the state’s homestead exemption allows the first $50,000 of their property’s fair market value to be exempt from local property taxes.  South Carolina imposes a casual excise tax of 5% on the fair market value of all motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, motors and airplanes transferred between individuals.  For more information, click here.

Inheritance and Estate Taxes

There is no inheritance tax or estate tax..
For further information, visit the South Carolina Department of Revenue site or 800-763-1295.  If you are planning to move to South Carolina, this link will provide you with some helpful information.
* State allows personal exemption or standard deductions as provided in the Internal Revenue Code.

Call Mel Coker to Buy at Lake Murray
Contact Mel Coker
(a lifelong South Carolina resident / Realtor)

RE/MAX Metro Associates | Columbia, SC
(803) 223-6214
Internet  |  email 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Coming Soon: Spring and Summer

It's a warm mid-60s day here in Lake Murray Country (and the first day of South Carolina Gamecock baseball this afternoon).

Spring is around the corner:  March 20 - 31 days, 2 hours, 40 minutes

Summer: June 21 - 124 days, 2 hours, 40 minutes

Summertime from our Lake Murray home

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Columbia Boat Show

February 10-12, 2012 at Columbia, SC Fairgrounds

The 49th Annual Boat Show will take place at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds, Friday through Sunday, February 10th – 12th. This year’s show will feature 12 area boat dealers and over 40 additional exhibitors.
The show will feature runabouts, sport boats, fishing boats, cruisers, personal  watercraft, jet boats, and high-performance boats—everything from 12 to 30 feet will be ready to board and buy!

Admission: $6 adults; $2 under age 12

Please be safe while boating on Lake Murray!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Columbia, SC Real Estate Market Information

Summary of Columbia Real Estate: 2002 - 2011

I will continue to provide the most in market stats and summary information for Columbia real estate information.  Soon, I will be providing market information by areas of Columbia to also include Lake Murray.  So, keep watching my TWO blogs (this blog and my Columbia Blog) for the most complete market data.

CLICK: Summary of Columbia Real Estate
Sales, Prices, Days on Market

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lake Murray Water Elevation: January 2012

The Lake Murray water level increased by just over one foot in January 2012.  This is a normal increase as the lake level rises from a typical winter low in the range of 354-355 feet above sea level to a late spring-early summer high level of 358-359 feet above sea level.

On January 1, 2012, the lake level was at 355.35 feet elevation and ended the month at 356.42 feet.

Lake Murray elevation change - January 2012
 Mel Coker
Lake Murray resident and Realtor
Lake Murray & Columbia, SC Real Estate
RE/MAX Metro Associates

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lake Murray water elevation, temperatures and more

We're half way through our coldest month (historically) at Lake Murray.  January has an average historical temperature of 44.05 degrees (average of daily high and low).  On the other hand, sometimes in the coldest months of January and February, we can have very pleasant weather.  For example, this coming Saturday, a high temperature of around 70 degrees is expected.

Also at this point, the lake level will begin to rise from a typical winter low of about 354-355 feet elevation to a spring/early summer high elevation of about 358-359 feet elevation (full pool is 360 feet elevation).  The Lake Murray water level today is at 355.56 - up .25 feet from January 1st.  Lake Murray's highest lake level runs from about early March to mid July (at or above 357 feet elevation).

Here is a chart with Lake Murray lake level elevations from February 1 - August 31, 2011:

Lake Murray Water Level Elevations
February 1, 2011 - August 31, 2011

For complete information on Lake Murray temperatures, lake level elevations, rainfall, weather forecast and water temperatures, visit my Lake Murray Environmentals website

Lake Murray was named a Top Ten Lake for Living and Boating by Boating Magazine in 2011!  Want to live on or near Lake Murray?  Contact Mel Coker, your Lake Murray Realtor.

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident & Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
(803) 223-6214
Lake Murray Real Estate
Lake Murray Website

Monday, January 9, 2012

William S. Murray - Namesake for Lake Murray

William S. Murray, a New York engineer that had the final conception plan for Lake Murray and did much of the engineering of the hyrdo project, died on this day 70 years ago in New York City.

CLICK HERE to read the entire obituary in PDF format
(I secured this on a special request to The New York Times - image may not be reproduced)

Mr. Murray was very involved in the early electrification of the United States.  He supervised the first high-tension electrification of a steam railroad; conceived and supervised an early Super-power Plan (mapped the power resources of the entire country); did engineering work on many other early electric generation projects; owned his own engineering firm and served on many important boards.

Portion of William S. Murray Obituary
from The New York Times - January 10, 1942
Several times in the 1800s, there were ideas or proposals to dam the Saluda River in the vicinity of the current Dreher Shoals Dam.  Again, in the early 1900s, several sites were considered for a dam, including a Bear Creek site and also at the Dreher Shoals area.  Finally, around 1925, Mr. Murray's firm, Murray and Flood, was retained to serve as supervisory engineer for the creation of a dam in central South Carolina.  They initially examined an area on the Santee River but found that unworkable.  Their studies found that a massive earthern dam on the Dreher Shoals site (about mid-way between Irmo and Lexington) would create a massive reservoir about 41 miles long and 14 miles wide at its widest point.    The plan was approved on July 8, 1927 by the U.S. Army Chief of Engineers.   Although there were many engineers involved in the massive project, William S. Murray was the most influential.  The South Carolina General Assembly named the new lake, Lake Murray, in Murray's honor.  The project was effectively completed on December 1, 1930 with the first delivery of hydro-electric power to Duke Power Company.


And, a newspaper report from August 4, 1930 stated that "Lake Murray, as that tremendous storage reservoir is know, was named by an act of the general assembly of the state of South Carolina, in honor of that distinguished engineer, William S. Murray, whose foresight, vision and tireless energy were responsible for the launching of the project."

Note the error in The New York Times obituary of January 10, 1942:
"... and in 1927-30 they engineered hyrdoelectric development of the Saluda River in North Carolina.  This project included the erection of a huge dam, which formed a lake at one point 14 miles wide which the state of North Carolina named Lake Murray in honor of the engineer."   Of course, Lake Murray is in central South Carolina.

Mel Coker on Lake Murray
Mr. Murray's work in the 1920s and early 1930s related to this new hydro-electric power reservoir is greatly  appreciated today.   Last year, Lake Murray was named one of the Top Ten Lakes in the United States for Boating and Living.

Mel Coker
Lake Murray Resident and Realtor
Lake Murray Real Estate
Mel's Lake Murray Website