Keechelus Dam, Yakim River, 10 miles northwest of Easton, Easton, Kittitas County, WA
10 miles northwest of Easton, Easton vicinity, WA
Find maps of Easton, WA
Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER WA-80
Building/structure dates: 1917 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1952 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1980 subsequent work
Significance: Keechelus Dam and Reservoir, constructed in 1913-1917 at the head of the Yakima River, provide about 15 percent of the water stored for the Yakima Project, which irrigates the Yakima Valley from above Ellensburg to the Richmond area in central Washington. The valley, which enjoys a greater natural water supply than most arid regions, required an integrated, valley-wide system that utilized stored water to realize its agricultural potential. Private irrigation companies lacked the capital and engineering expertise to make such an investment. The Land Reclamation Act of 1902 enabled the United States Reclamation Service to do so. Keechelus Dam, an integral element of the Yakima Project irrigation system, is a significant representative of the earthen-dam engineering design process and construction methods of the early twentieth century. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Keechelus Dam has been classified as a high-risk dam by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. In 1998 Reclamation determined that modifications to the dam were necessary to correct safety deficiencies.
U.S. Bureau Of Reclamation
Noble, T. A.
Charles, L. J.
Swigart, Charles H.
Baldwin, E. H.
Crownover, C. E.
Fraser, Clayton B., Photographer
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
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