A Short history of Lake Robinson

View of Lake from the parkLake John A. Robinson, a pristine clear water lake surrounded by beautiful terrain and gentle hilltops, lies between Greer and Tigerville. It is an invaluable water source for Greer and the surrounding area. The lake, named for one of the original members of the Greer Public Works Commission (GPWC), was once 850 acres of swamp and woods. GPWC recognized the need for water storage in the area to accommodate those moving to the area making their homes. In 1968 plans for a lake reached the drawing board. Verne Smith was chairman of GPWC in 1968 when planning for the lake began.

The South Tyger River was the last major and only dependable steam left to develop for water storage in Greenville County. The river had an excellent flow rate that was very stable and this stability would be beneficial during drought conditions. Plans to Photo of damconstruct an earth and concrete dam on the South Tyger River began in the mid to late 1970s as did the clearing of the lake basin.

In November of 1984 The News Metro reported that construction on the $10 million dam at Lake John A. Robinson was finished. In mid-November of that year, “the commission closed off the dam, sealing off the river and thus trapping water in a 55,000-acre drainage basin. That water [was] being released slowly through the bottom of the dam's three gates, filling the lake at 28 cubic feet a second.” The article also reported that depending on rainfall, the lake could be filled to capacity within five to 10 months. Thus, began Lake Robinson.

The shoreline of Lake Robinson is approximately 27 miles at its normal level and it is designed to satisfy a maximum demand of 32 million gallons of water per day (Greenville News article February 29, 1976). Dam construction is sturdy enough to withstand an 8-hour, 26-inch rainfall according to reports in the April 15, 1981 Piedmont.

ParkNot only does Lake Robinson hold the precious water to sustain life in this area, it also has a recreation park along the reservoir on a hilltop overlooking the main body of the lake.

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