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Pensacola Dam, Langley

4.3
#72 of 119 in Parks in Oklahoma
The Pensacola Dam, also known as the Grand River Dam, is a multiple-arch buttress dam on the Grand River in-between Disney and Langley in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The dam is operated by the Grand River Dam Authority and creates Grand Lake o' the Cherokees. After decades of vision and planning, it was constructed between 1938 and 1940 for the purposes of hydroelectric power generation, flood control and recreation. It is Oklahoma's first hydroelectric power plant and is referred to as the longest multiple-arch dam in the world.
The idea to construct a dam on the Grand River originated in the late 1800s with Henry C. Holderman, a Cherokee Nation citizen, who wanted to provide electric power to the Cherokee Nation. Holderman and a few colleagues soon conducted the first survey of the river in 1895 on their own handmade houseboat. Holderman later left the United States at the age of 16 and worked on dam projects in India and Africa before returning to Oklahoma. He sold his land holdings and borrowed money from friends in order to purchase rights to the dam sites he had prospected. Over several decades, Holderman and a group known as the "Rainbow Chasers" tried to secure funding to construct the a dam; making several trips to Washington DC.
Pensacola Dam is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our online itinerary creator, Langley Edition.
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Pensacola Dam Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
30 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is one of the few dams where you can still tour it. Tours are offered on the hour during the summer. The tour begins with a short video. Then, you receive an escorted tour of the outside and insi...  more »
  • We arrived to the museum and were told the video was taken by a visitor so we could not watch it. We walked through and lobby and while interesting we were disappointed a little. We walked outside and...  more »

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