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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alcova in Natrona County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Pathfinder Dam Construction

 
 
Pathfinder Dam Construction Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 31, 2016
1. Pathfinder Dam Construction Marker
Inscription. Pathfinder Dam represents the earliest attempts by the United States government to develop the nationís great river basins for irrigation, water storage, power production and recreation. The Federal Reclamation Act of 1902 authorized the Reclamation Service, now the Bureau of Reclamation, to begin construction on two massive dams in Wyoming: Pathfinder on the North Platte River and Buffalo Bill Dam on the Shoshone River west of Cody.
Pathfinder Dam was built between 1905 and 1909 and cost over two million dollars. It is located in a narrow canyon cut by the North Platte River through Precambrian basement rocks. It is a masonry arch structure built entirely of huge blocks quarried from the same Precambrian formations. The task of cutting, transporting and fitting the massive blocks severely tested the engineering skills of the day. Pathfinder Dam stands as a civil engineering landmark.
Pathfinder Dam stands 214 feet high and measures 432 feet across its crest. The Reservoir behind it holds over a million acre-feet (an acre of water a foot deep), creating a water sports area in the high, dry central Wyoming desert. Other dams named Seminoe, Kortes, Alcova, Grey Reef, Glendo and Guernsey would follow to further control and utilize waters from the North Platter waters.
Pathfinder Dam was named to honor General John C.
Pathfinder Dam Construction Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 31, 2016
2. Pathfinder Dam Construction Marker
Fremont, the “Pathfinder of the West.” Returning from an 1842 mapping expedition to the Rocky Mountains, Fremont attempted to float through the raging white water canyons of the North Platte near this point. He didnít succeed and was lucky to escape with his life. Most of his priceless records were lost. Pathfinder Dam was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
 
Erected by Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources.
 
Location. 42° 33.924′ N, 106° 43.134′ W. Marker is in Alcova, Wyoming, in Natrona County. Marker is on State Highway 220 near Grey Reef Road (County Route 412), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Alcova WY 82620, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Alcova Reservoir (approx. 4.2 miles away); Fremont Canyon (approx. 7.6 miles away); Fremont Canyon Power Plant (approx. 7.6 miles away); Lure of the West (approx. 8 miles away); Marking Their Progress (approx. 8 miles away); And On the Horizon... (approx. 8.1 miles away); A Look Back (approx. 8.1 miles away); Willow Springs (approx. 8.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alcova.
 
Also see . . .
Pathfinder Dam image. Click for full size.
By Bureau of Reclamation
3. Pathfinder Dam
 Pathfinder Dam, Wyoming - National Park Service. Pathfinder Dam is one of the first constructed by the brand new U.S. Reclamation Service (todayís Bureau of Reclamation), created to administer the Reclamation Act of 1902, which committed the Federal Government to build irrigation works--dams, canals and reservoirs--in 16 arid and semi-arid states of the American West. (Submitted on July 1, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made Features
 
Rare flow of water over the spillway extension image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 31, 2016
4. Rare flow of water over the spillway extension
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 1, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 1, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 161 times since then and 55 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 1, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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