CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As Duke Energy demolished one of the last vestiges of the historic coal-fired Cliffside Steam Station in Mooresboro on Tuesday morning, Reno and Betty Bailey knew the memories collected over the past 70 years by those who lived near the plant would live on.
For decades, Cliffside station was the center of a thriving village, and the couple’s website contains memories from many of the people who lived there.
Duke Energy demolished the station’s retired powerhouse as part of the company’s decommissioning program to modernize generation and dismantle older plants no longer in use.
Duke has completed six implosion events at retired sites in the Carolinas since 2013.
The station began operating in 1940 and units 1 through 4 were retired in 2011. Its original four units were replaced with cleaner, more efficient units. The company added unit 5 in 1972 and unit 6 in 2012. Both are now part of the James E. Rogers Energy Complex.
The Baileys and others who lived in the community have done their best to preserve a time when life was simpler and neighbors were closer. So, hearing about the implosion of the site’s historic powerhouse surprised them.
“It’s another landmark going away. I’m sure that the people who worked over there hate it more than I to see it go,” said Reno.
Remembering a simpler time
For 13 years, the couple has worked most weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on remembercliffside.com, a site dedicated to preserving the memory of the small town in western North Carolina, just outside of Shelby.
Reno, 80, injured his left hand years ago, so he does most of the clicking needed to manage the site. Betty, 82, does the typing. Reno taught himself the basics of web programming with online video tutorials in the late 1990s.