Monday, October 25, 2010

Travel: Fort Peck

Peck's Tyranasaurus...

...is but one of many highlights at the new Fort Peck Interpretive Center situated at the base of the dam beside the giant twin towers that house five turbines which crank out a nameplate capacity of about 185,000 kilowatts per day.  Fort Peck dam is the largest of six major dams spanning the Missouri River. Roughly 21,000 feet long and over 250 feet high it is the largest hydraulically filled dam in the U.S. Fort Peck Lake, is 134 miles long, with some 1800 miles of shoreline (California boast about 800 miles) and ranks as the fifth largest man-made lake in the country, by far the largest in Montana.

Fort Peck was a major project of the Public Works Administration and a major player in the New Deal. Construction began in 1933 and reached its peak in 1936 when over 10,000 workers were employed. The dam was completed in 1940 and began generating electricity in 1943. Known as "the government town" Fort Peck was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers with considerable help from workers employed to build the dam itself. Not much remains of the original town but a few buildings, such as the rec center and theatre are still utilized today. Interesting to note the theatre throughout construction showed movies 24-7 as well as live entertainment on a regular basis.

As time permits I'll be posting more interesting tidbits on this special Montana place...stay tuned.

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