Dam History

 Taken directly from Wyoming History website. Visit their page for more photographs and additional information. Seminoe is the first dam and reservoir on the North Platte as it flows north from Colorado into Wyoming. The Bureau of Reclamation built the dam in the early 1930s in a steep, narrow canyon in the Seminoe Mountains, about 75 miles southwest of Casper, Wyo. The name comes from early Wyoming trader and trapper Charles Lajeunesse, who gave his nickname “Simono” to a mountain range, an Oregon Trail cutoff east of South Pass and a small trading post at Devil’s Gate. Seminoe Dam was part of the Kendrick Project, a federally funded plan authorized in October 1933 and intended to expand irrigation and generate hydropower in central Wyoming. The project included dams at both Alcova and Seminoe. The total appropriation of $12 million was part of the National Industrial Recovery Act, a nationwide effort to relieve hardships of the Great Depression. Excavation began early the following year and proceeded slowly because of flooding at the dam site. The site was remote, about 20 miles east of the main road between Casper and Rawlins, in a rugged canyon in the Seminoe Mountains. There were no towns or settlements nearby. The construction work was dangerous. In November 1936, John Mabrite was killed when a rock fell on him while he was working in the spillway tunnel, and in March 1937, steel nipper Albert Barnes died when falling rock knocked him to the canyon floor. The concrete arch dam, 295 feet high, was finished in December 1938. The first water was stored in April 1939. On Aug. 3, 1939, the first electricity was generated at Seminoe power plant. Seminoe Reservoir now contains some 985,608 acre-feet of water. An acre-foot is enough water to cover one acre of land a foot deep, about 325,900 gallons. The power plant now produces about 150 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually.

 Taken directly from Wyoming History website. Visit their page for more photographs and additional information.