Tour of Elwha Dam
August 13, 2006
The Elwha dam was completed in 1913 as a source of water and electricity for the Olympic Penninsula. In the
mid-twenties, it was enlarged with additional generators. Most of the equipment in the dam today is the original
equipment constructed 100 to 80 years ago. It is big and bulky and sturdy--built to last.
Just yesterday, Jackie said she would like to take a tour of the dam. Today I was browsing the internet when I noted that
tours were being given this weekend as part of the Heritage Festival. Below are some of the pictures I took of the inside
of this facility.
Unfortunately, the dam was built without regard to the salmon with no fish ladders. Accordingly, in 2009 or 2010, the
dam will be removed--the largest dam removal project in the history of the world resulting from a bill passed by Congress
in 1992 and signed by the first George Bush. The community is heatedly divided over this project. Hopefully, the project
will succeed in its efforts to restore salmon runs. Whatever, it will be a closely watched project by both supporters and
opponents of such dam removal projects, with each side looking to the project to prove its position on the removal.
These pictures were
taken on our tour
today. The tour was
conducted by Rick
Parker who is in charge
of the facility. He gave
us a fascinating tour of
the facility with lots of
history and technical
informaiton about the
facility. His phone
number is 565-1322.
Post 9-11, this is the
electric plant providing
The control panel below (but not the
computers) was built in the 1920s.
The pipes below to the generators
were built in 1910.