Cooke Dam

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Cooke Dam
Cooke Dam Oscoda Mi.jpg
Cooke Dam
Cooke Dam is located in Michigan
Cooke Dam
Location within the state of Michigan
Location Oscoda Township, Iosco County, Michigan
Coordinates 44°28′22″N 83°34′18″W / 44.472669°N 83.571677°W / 44.472669; -83.571677Coordinates: 44°28′22″N 83°34′18″W / 44.472669°N 83.571677°W / 44.472669; -83.571677
Construction began 1911
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Embankment dam
Power station
Installed capacity 9 MW
Cooke Hydroelectric Plant
Nearest city Oscoda, Michigan
Area 4 acres (1.6 ha)
Built 1912
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 96000803[1]
Added to NRHP August 2, 1996

Cooke Dam is a hydro-electric dam on the Au Sable River in Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 as the Cooke Hydroelectric Plant.


This dam began generating electricity in December 1911, with an original capacity of 9,000 kilowatts,[2] making it the first of the six Au Sable River hydros. Cooke is named for banker Andrew Cooke, who helped secure financing for the project. Cooke Hydro was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on Aug. 2, 1996. The honor recognizes the hydro's transmission of 140,000 volts, 125 miles to Flint, establishing a world record. Innovations included three-legged, windmill-like towers that supported the transmission line and advances in insulator design. Cooke Hydro is also part of the River Road Scenic Byway and listed in the National Scenic Byways Program.[3]

Generators in the Cooke Dam Powerhouse
The attendant's house was built around 1909 to provide onsite accommodations for plant operators, due to the isolated nature of the site at the turn of the century. Access to the plant at that time was either by and 18-mile wagon road or by a 160-mile, narrow gauge logging railroad.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Au Sable River Consumers Energy
  3. ^ AuSable River Tour

External links[edit]

Media related to Cooke Dam at Wikimedia Commons