Tour the Historic Overholser Dam

Tour the Historic Overholser Dam

led by Colin Young, PE of Freese and Nichols

Wednesday, April 27, 2022
5:30 p.m.
Overholser Lake Dam
3115 E. Overholser Drive, OKC

OKC Foundation for Architecture Members: Free
(Not sure if you’re a member, click here)

Nonmembers: $15


In the early years of Oklahoma City, the water source was the N. Canadian River, which was unreliable due to drought and flooding, and the future growth of the City was impaired by insufficient water supply. After years of discussions and disagreements about the need for a dam, the community realized that to grow, build they must. Finally in 1916, a $1.5 million bond issue was approved and construction began on the dam. Completed in 1918, Lake Overholser Dam created a 700 acre lake, which aided in flood control and provided Oklahoma City with its primary source of water, enabling her to grow substantially in the years following its completion.

Lake Overholser Dam is a reinforced concrete buttress type dam 1650 feet long and 68 feet high. It dams the North Canadian River which flows from Canton Reservoir in Blaine County, to form Lake Overholser. The dam was named for Edward Overholser, mayor of Oklahoma City at the time. It wasn't until May of 1930 that the City finally allowed use of the lake for fishing, boating and swimming. The dam runs east/west and straddles the border of Oklahoma and Canadian Counties, at the southeast corner of the Lake. In 1924, the west end of the dam was extended, adding eight more gated spillways.

Find out more exciting facts about the historic dam on April 27th!



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