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Oswego Lake Dam

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The 1921 dam wall on Oswego Creek (bobcat)


Oswego Lake (or Lake Oswego) fills an old channel of the Tualatin River that was scoured and filled by the Bretz or Missoula Floods 15,000 to 13,000 years ago. Early settlers dubbed the lake Sucker Lake after a local fish. Originally, wooden dams were built on Oswego Creek to raise the water level of the lake, but since these never lasted very long, a concrete dam was constructed in 1921 to provide reliable power to the surrounding area. The dam can be seen just off McVey Avenue. The lake is private domain and the public is not permitted to use its waters.

The dam caused Tualatin River overflow to back up during the 1996 winter floods, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. A recently completed spillway project at the east end of Lakewood Bay is designed to allow faster drainage of sudden spates. The lake is also periodically drained, as in 2010, when a sewer pipe that ran across the lake bed needed to be replaced.

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bobcat (creator)

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