In 1907, the State Water Supply Commission was authorized to plan for a progressive development of water power and they secured the services of an eminent hydraulic engineer, John R. Freeman. They then inspected the Sacandaga, Indian and Genessee rivers and watersheds. After which a decision was made to survey the Sacandaga river for the purpose of building a large storage dam. It was felt that such a dam would have the following benefits:
- decrease annual flood damage;
- provide a deeper channel for the Hudson, improving navigation and insuring more water for canal needs;
- assure a minimum flow of water to improve sanitary conditions;
- provide cheap power for manufacturing and stimulate employment in various industries;
- provide income to the state because the use of falling water was more economical than coal.
The Sacandaga River drains primarily forested state land and many lakes from the counties of Hamilton and Warren. Thus, flood waters could be stored with a minimum of effort.
The proposed dam site was at a place where the river runs through a narrow valley to its confluence with the Hudson, near Hadley. It would completely submerge Munsonville, Huntsville and partly submerge Northville, Sacandaga Park, Northhampton, Cranberry Creek, Vails Mills, Benedict, North Broadalbin, Batchellerville, Day Center and Mayville, as well as a portion of the Fonda Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad. However, most of the valley to be flooded was farm land and swamp.
After major flooding in the Hudson valley and especially in the Albany area occured in 1913 and 1927, the Conklingville Dam was completed in 1932, forming the Great Sacandaga Lake. The resultant lake is 29 miles long with 125 miles of shoreline in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and within the Adirondack Park. The area is still rather unpopulated and the area is protected by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Hudson River Black River Regulating District Authority.
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:32:12 PDT
Copyright © 2001: Lisa K. Slaski