Fort Peck Dam
At a time when the nation was clawing its way out of economic depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized one hundred million dollars for the construction of a massive earth-fill dam in Montana. At one-fifth completion, it was already the largest dam in history. Bigger dams have come along since, but thousands still visit Fort Peck every year to marvel at the dam and to appreciate its history.
Standing at 199 feet high and 960 feet long, Gibson Dam was built in the late 1920s and holds the distinction of being America’s first dam designed using trial-load method (which relies on mathematical equations to determine the stresses and strains acting on the structure). Today, Gibson Dam and other units of the Sun River Project irrigate over 90,000 acres, where wheat, oats, barley, and alfalfa are grown.
Great Falls Hydroelectric Dams
On June 13, 1805, Meriwether Lewis came across “the grandest sight” he “ever beheld”—the Great Falls of the Missouri. Around the turn of the 20th century, several hydroelectric dams were installed along this section of the mighty river, generating electricity from the flow of the Missouri and earning the community of Great Falls its nickname: “the Electric City.”