Hydroelectric power supplies a modest 6-8% of electric demand in the U.S. today, but following the installation of the nation’s first hydroelectric plant in Wisconsin in 1882 there was a headlong public and private rush to develop the technology. By 1907 the level had reached 15% of electricity produced and by 1920 the number had grown to a startling 25%. The power source was called “white coal”, even — and was seen as a boon to the rural southeast in particular. Dams were being built everywhere at a rapid clip. It was in this context and this time period that the wonderful Green River was nearly taken away from us back in 1906.