FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT)- The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is celebrating its 90th birthday by giving public tours, beginning with Wilson Dam.

Wilson Dam is the only TVA facility that is listed as a historic landmark because the dam predates the actual TVA’s formation, leaders say it goes back to World War 1. In celebration of 90 years, TVA is doing a series of public tours allowing people to see the inner workings of the dam and learn more about how TVA works.

Visitor Mary Carton said her family history ties to the same history the TVA is celebrating this year.

“My great grandfather Gusmas owned a lot of the property that the TVA… the Muscle Shoals Reservation, he owned Seven-Mile Island,” she said. “It was after the depression and everything was mortgaged and he ended up selling the mortgage to the property for 25 cents an acre.”

21 turbines total are in the TVA facility. The dam operates by bringing in water which then spins in the turbine and into the generator turning it to generate electricity that eventually powers homes.

“We’re part of a valley-wide network of not only gas plants, nuclear, we’ve added wind power and solar and hydro to provide electricity to the Tennessee Valley,” Wilson Dam Assistant Plant Manager Jimmy Springer said.

This is the first time TVA has opened its doors to the public since the pandemic and natives say seeing history up close is kind of cool.

“I think the most interesting thing is just how one of the turbines that we just went through is one of the original Westinghouse ones and they have not changed it,” Tourist Will Rayburn said. “It’s the original ones, it’s pretty cool that it’s still operating after all these years.”

TVA says they plan to continue powering homes in their seven-state coverage area for another 90 years.