Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bagnell Dam from the Osage River Side


They started building the Bagnell Dam on August 6, 1929. It was completed in April of 1931. This is the Osage River, and the Lake was to be called Osage Lake or Reservoir, but the people called it the Lake of the Ozarks. So after the Missouri general assembly tried to name it Lake Benton after one of the senators, the folks kept calling it the Lake of the Ozarks.

Back in 1931 this hydroelectric plant had to be state of the art. But today, the area is a tourist destination, with a lake that reaches up river for 90 miles. We have over 1,000 miles of shoreline and somewhere around 70,000 homes that are along the shoreline.

The dam still produces 215 Megawatts at maximum capacity, and saves over a million barrels of oil a year, if that power was generated from oil. It is still a small fry on the power grid today, but AmerenUE continues to operate the dam, so something is still right about the facility.

We first came here in 1974 when our younger son was one year old. We had a “fold down” camper that we pulled with our chevy car in those years. Of course that would be a “pop up” trailer today. Times do change. But we have been at this RV thing for a few years anyway.

As one thing led to another, and we transitioned from trailers to motorhomes and then to a condo, we have been in this area for every summer since that time. Today, I call our place a fishing cabin, but it has four bedrooms. We need those bedrooms when all the families and grandkids come, and still some are sleeping on the sofa sleepers.

So with this season’s opening of our lake place, we will mark 36 years of hanging around this lake. That doesn’t seem possible, but then we aren’t spring chickens anymore either.

Retired Rod

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rod,
    I've got you beat on personal history with the Lake of the Ozarks.
    I first started going there in the 1950s!!!!! Of course, I must have been a tiny baby since I'm not THAT old!
    I spent several summers there at Girl Scout Camp & some of my friends' families had cabins there so it was a hangout for us in the teenage years. They were actually cabins in those days!
    Lots of good memories from those days. JoAnn


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