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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Morgantown in Monongalia County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

Remnants of the Past: The Dam and Outlet Tower

Interpreting History

 
 
Remnants of the Past: The Dam and Outlet Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, May 13, 2021
1. Remnants of the Past: The Dam and Outlet Tower Marker
Inscription.  
The Main Dam Keeps Water In…
The dam you are standing on held back the water flowing into the reservoir. The crews mostly used materials found on site during construction. To help ensure strength and impermeability of the core and prevent leakage beneath the base, they probably dug the foundation trench and blasted into the bedrock. The core was most likely clay and may have included concrete (made with the sand cleared from the basin). Larger stones were added to the inner face of the dam to prevent erosion by wave action. A dinky locomotive engine and dumper cars, which ran along a small track, made construction easier. The engine likely pulled loads of dirt and other materials along the dam to the work crews.

The Outlet Tower Lets Water Out…
The tower you see here, along with a system of pipes, transferred the water in the reservoir to Morgantown. The concrete tower is approximately 21 feet tall. The 3 levels of side intake openings were controlled by hand from atop the tower. Using a walkway to access the top of the tower, the reservoir caretaker could open or close the intake gates, depending on water
Remnants of the Past: The Dam and Outlet Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bradley Owen, May 13, 2021
2. Remnants of the Past: The Dam and Outlet Tower Marker
The remains of the outlet tower are seen behind the marker.
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levels and need. With the lake filled to a normal depth, only the tower's top portion was visible above the water. The incoming water collected in the bottom of the tower and entered the main outlet pipe. This concrete-sealed 24-inch diameter pipe passed under the dam's core and connected to pipes leading to town.

[Inset:]
Morgantown Post Chronicle November 27, 1912
Engineer McCoy Finishes Job on Tibbs Run Dam
"The water from Tibbs Run was turned into the big lake, the valves of the gatehouse in the big dam were closed, and the reservoir, capable of storing 90,000 gallons of water, began to fill.... The four days run has formed a lake of goodly area and of seven or eight feet depth in the deeper places. It is an attractive looking sheet of beautifully clear, pure mountain water.... The cost of the improvement to the company has probably approximated $50,000."

 
Erected 2014 by West Virginia Botanic Garden and West Virginia Humanities Council.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkIndustry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1912.
 
Location. 39° 37.593′ N, 79° 52.044′ W. Marker is near Morgantown
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, West Virginia, in Monongalia County. Marker can be reached from Tyrone Road (County Road 75) 0.1 miles south of Quartz Drive, on the right when traveling east. The marker is located on the Reservoir Loop Trail at the West Virginia Botanic Garden. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown WV 26508, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Strong Men and Horses Build the Basin (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Tibbs Run Reservoir: Then a Water Source, Now a Local Treasure (about 800 feet away); Who Wants Clean Water? (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Small Dam and a Big "Bowl" Meet the Need for Clean Water (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Clean Mountain Water" Not So Clean (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clean Water Comes To Morgantown (approx. ¼ mile away); Ralph Lemley: Resourceful Caretaker (approx. 0.3 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morgantown.
 
Regarding Remnants of the Past: The Dam and Outlet Tower. The marker includes a cross-section of the Outlet Tower, Outlet Pipe, and Primary Earthen Dam, a conceptual rendering not to scale. Drawing by Michael Caplinger, 2012.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 30, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 30, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 12, 2021