is a reservoir in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It is approximately 50,000 acres (200 km²) in size, and has roughly 500 miles (800 km) of shoreline. It was impounded in the late 1920s to provide hydroelectric power to the state of South Carolina. Lake Murray is fed by the Saluda River, which flows from upstate South Carolina near the North Carolina state line. The Saluda Dam (officially the
) was an engineering feat at the time of its construction. The dam, using the native red clay soil and bedrock, was the largest earthen dam in the world when it was completed in 1930. Lake Murray itself is named after the project's chief engineer, William S. Murray. The Saluda Dam is approximately long and high. Lake Murray is long, and wide at its widest point. When the lake was finished, it was the world's largest man-made reservoir.
Since its construction, Lake Murray has been the focal point of the region. Many different communities in four counties are all tied to the lake, and the local history has as much to do with the lake as the lake has to do with the local history. Considering Lake Murray now covers an area that was once populated, the story of what lies beneath its surface is the story of Lake Murray itself.
In addition to serving as a source of hydroelectric power for the region, the lake has become a recreational attraction, with fishing and boating being popular activities. Also, Dreher Island State Recreation Area, located in the Western part of the lake, provides multiple activities--all focused on the lake.