Near Shoshoni in Fremont County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Boysen's Historic Dam
In the early 1900s, Asmus Boysen, a Danish immigrant and successful businessman, dreamt to building a dam that would provide water and power to Central Wyoming. The dam was to be an engineering achievement, spanning 180 feet high and 124 feet long, with a lake 14 miles long and 2 1/2 miles wide. The power plant was unique with five turbines generating electricity to nearby mining camps and to Shoshoni and Riverton.
Boysen's dream was short-lived as a series of flash floods deposited tons of silt and sand causing the turbines to shut down. Water rose behind the silt-filled dam and threatened the nearby railroad tracks. To prevent more flooding, Boysen blasted away part of the dam. But over the years, flooding continued to damage the dam until 1948 when the Bureau of Reclamation completely removed it.
Today, silt deposits from the original dam provide the sites of both the upper and lower Wind River campgrounds.
Erected by Wyoming State Parks & Historic Sites.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Man-Made Features • Waterways & Vessels.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shoshoni WY 82649, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of Original Boysen Dam (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Geology of the Wind River Canyon (approx. 2.2 miles away); Boysen Dam and Reservoir Today (approx. 2.2 miles away); Wind River Canyon (approx. 2.2 miles away); “Wild Sheep and Wild Fire” (approx. 2.2 miles away); Wedding of the Waters (approx. 10.3 miles away); a different marker also named Wedding of the Waters (approx. 10.3 miles away); Thermopolis Downtown Historic District (approx. 14.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shoshoni.
Also see . . . History of Boysen Dam. WyoHistory entry:
One of the requirements to claim a homestead under the 1877 Desert Land Act was irrigation. When the first homesteaders came into the Wind River area in the 1890s, many of them made at least a token attempt to draw water from the river or its tributaries. (Submitted on February 20, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 20, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 20, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.