The East Sidney Dam Still Impresses Nearly 70 Years After It Was Built
When I was a kid, say around 1957, my Dad would drive me out to look at the East Sidney Dam in Franklin. I thought it had to be the largest structure on planet earth. I was amazed at it then, and still am in awe of it. I drove by there just the other day and got out. It is so sturdy, has so much heft to it that it will make you puzzle over how they built it. Even all these decades later, the dam is still impressive. I can't wait to take my grandchildren out there to see it someday.
The dam consists of an earthfill embankment and a concrete gravity-type structure. The dam is 2010 feet long and rises 130 feet above the streambed. The spillway and five gated outlets are located in the concrete dam section. The dam project was operationally complete in April 1950.
The building of the dam created a large reservoir and recreational area. The park area first opened for public use in the summer of 1965. The reservoir is two miles long covering almost 200 acres. The maximum depth of the lake is 50 feet and the whole basin includes four and a half miles of shoreline. The park is a favorite summertime destination for locals.