Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The Columbia Gorge Dam
Construction on the Gorge Dam began in 1937. Its goal was to create a lake to irrigate the entire Columbia Basin, and to generate electricity for the whole state of Washington. The dam was built only a kilometer upriver from Georgetown, where one of the many railroads cross the Columbia River. Today, Interstate 90 passes over the dam, and a man-made lake that, combined with the lake Grand Coulee Dam created, stretches all the way into Cascadia. There was some opposition to constructing the dam. The locals opposed it because it displaced them. Hundreds of square kilometers of orchards would be lost as well. The United States Army had limited opposition to it, since it would flood a number of Great War cemeteries that were scattered along the former American-Canadian border. The dam was completed in 1943, and power generated by it added to the war effort by 1944.