The Dalles Dam

Washington USA

The Dalles Dam is a concrete-gravity run-of-the-river dam spanning the Columbia River, two miles (3 km) east of the city of The Dalles, Oregon, United States. It joins Wasco County, Oregon with Klickitat County, Washington, 192 miles (309 km) upriver from the mouth of the Columbia near Astoria, Oregon. The closest towns on the Washington side are Dallesport and Wishram. The Army Corps of Engineers began work on the dam in 1952 and completed it five years later. Slackwater created by the dam submerged Celilo Falls, the economic and cultural hub of Native Americans in the region and the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in North America. On March 10, 1957, hundreds of observers looked on as the rising waters rapidly silenced the falls, submerged fishing platforms, and consumed the village of Celilo. Ancient petroglyphs were also in the area being submerged. Approximately 40 petroglyph panels were removed with jackhammers before inundation and were placed in storage before being installed in Columbia Hills State Park in the 2000s. The reservoir behind the dam is named Lake Celilo and runs 24 miles (39 km) up the river channel, to the foot of John Day Dam. The dam is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the power is marketed by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). It is part of an extensive system of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Dalles Dam Visitor Center, in Seufert Park on the Oregon shore, was built in 1981. A tour train was closed in autumn 2001, partly due to post-September 11 security oncerns, and partly due to deteriorating track conditions and a small derailment. The Columbia Hills State Park is nearby.

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