Toward the end of 1995, Lake Wildwood (Macon, GA) was drained to allow access for construction crews to bury new sewage pipes. The process was not complete until the summer of 1996. This gave me the perfect opportunity to use my VHS camcorder and brand new Canon Rebel 35mm SLR to document the process.

My parents have lived on LWW since 1977, so I grew up around the lake. As a kid I had often wondered how deep it was and what was on the bottom. Then in 1995 I heard the news that it was to be drained. Even though I was 19 years old by then, I was still very excited to finally have the chance to see what was down there. As you will see from the photos and video below, it turned out to be a bed of clay dotted with hundreds of tree stumps. Apparently when the dam was constructed, and in preparation for the lake's creation, workers cut down the many trees growing in what would become the lake bed (it had been a wooded area with a creek running through it).

Of course there were also many discarded tires, a section or two of corrugated drain pipe, Christmas trees weighted down to attract fish, and other random junk. As can be seen at the very beginning of the video, I even found a sunken canoe or small boat of some type. I was actually aware of its existence prior to the lake's draining because I had seen it float by half submerged a year or two before. I knew it went under completely near the neighbor's dock.

So, if you ever wondered how Lake Wildwood would look without water, here is your chance. The photo gallery below scrolls horizontally. On a computer with a mouse, simply hover your mouse pointer over the thumbnails and slide it to the right to scroll through them. Click a thumbnail to view a large version. Once you are viewing a large version, you can jump to the next or previous photo by clicking the left or right side of the photo. Note that on a touch-enabled device, such as a smartphone, you cannot scroll through the thumbnails. Instead, tap one of the photos to open the large version, and then tap the right side of each photo to advance through the gallery.

The following four and a half minute video was edited to show just the highlights of my footage from the draining and construction work.

 

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Scott

4/24/2017 11:57:06 PM EDT

Your video is AWESOME. I just drove by the Lake Wildwood Dam and was amazed. I read the historical marker about the Anthony House, but didn't completely comprehend the project. It wasn't until I got home and did some research that I learned about this lake. Wow. Do you have any more pics or video of the draining? Have they drained it again? Thanks for posting this video.