The Tumwater Dam is located on the Wenatchee River along Highway 2 between Leavenworth in the east and Stevens Pass in the west. It has a small viewpoint area and historical marker and makes for a nice stop when traveling that route.
Fun Facts About Tumwater Dam
-The Tumwater Dam was completed in 1909.
-The Tumwater Dam is 400 feet in length.
-The Tumwater Dam is 23 feet high.
-Though very small today, at the time of its completion, the Tumwater Dam was the largest hydroelectric project west of Niagara Falls.
-The dam was constructed by the Great Northern Railway Company for the purpose of producing power for its electric locomotives traveling through the old Cascade Tunnel underneath Stevens Pass.
-Water from behind the Tumwater Dam was diverted through a penstock to a powerhouse that was located a further two miles downstream.
-Today, there is a hiking trail along the Wenatchee River that follows the route of the old penstock pipeline. This trail even utilizes a pipeline bridge with the top half cutoff as a means for hikers getting from one side of the river to the other.
-The Tumwater Dam powerhouse contained three 2,000 killowatt generators.
-The penstock pipeline that carried the water from Tumwater Dam to the powerhouse was 11,654 feet in length and had a diameter of 8.5 feet.
-The Chelan County PUD owns and operates the Tumwater Dam, having purchased it from the railroad in 1957.
-1987 saw the construction of a fish passageway to help salmon and steelhead upriver to once populated spawning grounds.
-The water backed up behind the Tumwater Dam is known as Jolanda Lake.