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Bowersock Mills & Power Co., Lawrence

View from the bridge of the Bowersock Mill. Photo courtesy Bowersock Mills & Power Co.

High water on the Kaw River at the Bowersock Dam. Photo courtesy Bowersock Mills & Power Co.

Turbins inside the power plant. Photo courtesy Von Rothenberger.

Past their age of use, the old runner and millstone can still be seen on a tour at the plant. Photo courtesy Bowersock Mills & Power Co.

An employee taking daily readings at the power plant. Photo courtesy Bowersock Mills & Power Co.

The shape embedded in the wall was intended to represent a sunflower and a mill stone. Photo courtesy Bowersock Mills & Power Co.

Bowersock Mills and Power Co. exterior. Photo courtesy of Bowersock Mills and Power Co.

Address: Kansas River at the Mass. St. Bridge, Lawrence [map this location]
Phone: 785.843.1385
Website: www.bowersockpower.com

Bowersock Mills & Power Company is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce because it is the only operating hydroelectric plant in Kansas, and has been continuously producing clean, renewable energy since 1874.

Presently owned by the Hill family, direct descendants of Justin D. Bowersock, the mill has achieved many firsts in Lawrence. One of the oldest hydroelectric plants in the country, it still provides a source of renewable power and could be viewed as an operational museum.

In business since 1874, Bowersock currently provides the City of Lawrence with much needed river flow control for the public water intakes.

The water that passes through seven hydroelectric turbines produces up to 2.35 megawatts of renewable non-polluting electrical power -- enough to power nearly 1,800 homes.

Bowersock is proud to be certified as a Low Impact Hydropower Facility. Achieving Low-Impact status is difficult, and as of Fall, 2008 there were only 31 hydroelectric power plants in the nation that had achieved this certification.

A part of the flood control system of the Bowersock Dam, the baffles can be raised or lowered to control the amount of water that flows over the dam or is diverted to the power plant.

  • During the past 130+ years, the mill has ground grain into flour, produced the first ready-make gingerbread cake mix, hosted a radio station, been a paper mill, made barbed wire, and produced power - both electrical and mechanical.
  • Before electrical power was widely available, leather belts were connected to the waterwheels at Bowersock, and ran through tunnels to their respective businesses. The famous Eldridge Hotel on 7th and Massachusetts is said to retain its generators in the basement, where the belts used to be attached.


Bowersock Mills and Power Company invites you to come for a tour and learn more about this 132-year old plant and clean ways to make electricity. Make reservations by calling 785.843.1385.

Source: www.bowersockpower.com

E-mail:  staff@bowersockpower.com