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Boyce Link

Interview

10/12/03

Conducted by Joe Liles

Part 1

 

 

There was a cooling lake, seventeen acres, with pilings sticking out of the water.  They had big pipes running out and laying on those pilings.  They had spray pipes on them that shot water up into the air as high as a house.  It was a beautiful thing when they did it.  We could sit on our porch up there and see it.  This is what they did with the hot water from the plant.  They pumped it up there to cool it off.

 

There were two big turbines in the plant.  Back here there were boilers.  They had a big pile of coal.  Trains would come in there.  That’s what they fed the boilers with.  The pump station was below the turbines, down into the ground.  My daddy, John Andrew Link, used to run the pump station.  If you come in the road that goes beside the cooling lake, the road that goes to my home place, the coal pile would be on your right.

 

There was a village in there for all the families to live in.  There were four houses on the road going out to Highway 70.  There were three houses up on the hill between the plant and the river.  There were four houses down at the end of the spray pond.  They had two houses set aside for the black families. 

 

The dam for the power plant was built in 1915.  There’s talk about tearing it down.  Right above that dam there was a cut that took the water into where the building was.  That was where the water run in.  That was the intake for the water.  They would use the coal to heat the water.  The steam from the water would turn the turbines, and the turbines made the electricity.  There was a substation right outside the plant that would handle the electricity.  In the plant, there was a machine you had to drive that would dump the coal into each boiler.  It was on a track.  It was one of the worst jobs in there because of all the dust.  My brother, John Marshall Link, had that job.  He didn’t stay with it long.  They had a machine shop there where they did their own machine work if they needed a part made.  They had two smokestacks, I mean huge, one on each end of the plant.

 

It was really a great community at that time.  My granddaddy’s house was right where my son’s house is now.  His name was Emmett Link.  And he had some cows, Jersey cows.  He would supply the milk over there to the village.  I got some of the bottles they used to use.  He would carry milk to those that needed it.  Where I’m living here now was my granddaddy’s bull lot.  He had this fenced in, and this is where he kept his bull.  You know, when we moved out here, that was a dirt road, Pleasant Green was.  There was an old metal truss bridge across the river right where the bridge is now.  They got one just like it down here off Cole Mill Road.  I remember when they tore down that truss bridge and put the new one up.  I believe it was 1958. 

 

Go to Boyce Link - Part 2

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