Waterbury Dam // 1938

In November of 1927, a disastrous storm hit the State of Vermont. Severe flooding in the Winooski River Basin area resulted in the loss 55 lives and damages totaling over $22 Million. A Corps of Engineers study was initiated soon thereafter to investigate “the improvement of the Winooski River for the purposes of navigation in combination with the development of waterpower… and the control of floods.” The report presented a comprehensive plan for flood control and power development, consisting of: the construction of seven reservoirs; the installation of seven new hydropower plants, and the enlargement or improvement of 12 existing plants. Construction of the Waterbury Dam and Reservoir began in 1935 and was completed in 1938. The dam and reservoir were designed and built by the Corps of Engineers using contract services and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) labor, all thanks to the New Deal legislation enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The gatehouse at the top of the dam’s embankment is a rare example of Art Deco architecture in the state of Vermont and was completed in 1938 as the last piece of the project. The building and dam remain today as part of the Little River State Park and are a great example of Engineering History and a look into human intervention in the natural landscape.

3 thoughts on “Waterbury Dam // 1938

  1. Paul Chandler May 3, 2023 / 2:53 pm

    Is the top picture from inside the state park? Went camping there a couple of times as a kid with my family in the sixties.

    Liked by 1 person

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