Generations gather to watch smoke stack implosion at James River Power Station

Updated: Feb. 19, 2022 at 7:15 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - One of Springfield’s iconic landmarks crumbled to the ground in a matter of seconds Saturday morning.

Hundreds gathered to watch the implosion of four smoke stacks at the James River Power Station.

KY3 visited one several watching areas over Lake Springfield at the Hilltop Pavilion. Many community members spoke on the experience and their memories of the smoke stacks.

“It’s awesome to watch something implode, and I am grateful to share this memory with my family,” said Marlene Oglesby. “I am here with my grandsons and sons. It’s very special.”

Her grandsons were excited to witness the event.

The four stacks at the James River power station have supplied power to the city of Springfield for six decades.

The James River Power Plant started operating in June of 1957. It opened to the public on weekends that September.

Crews added a third unit to the station in 1960, a fourth in 1964, and a fifth in 1970. In 1978, a buildup of propane caused an explosion. It took more than two years to rebuild the boiler and start firing it again.

“Ever since I have been alive, the stacks have been here,” said Oglesby. “It is going to be weird to see them gone.”

Marlene says that her grandsons will remember this forever.

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