Cushman Dam No. 1

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Cushman No. 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant
Cushman Dam No. 1.jpg
Cushman Dam No. 1 is located in Washington (state)
Cushman Dam No. 1
Location Mason County, Washington, USA
Nearest city Hoodsport, Washington
Coordinates 47°25′23″N 123°13′21″W / 47.423063°N 123.222377°W / 47.423063; -123.222377Coordinates: 47°25′23″N 123°13′21″W / 47.423063°N 123.222377°W / 47.423063; -123.222377
Area 28 acres (11 ha)[2]
Built 1924
Architect Tacoma Light Dept.
Architectural style Other
MPS Hydroelectric Power Plants in Washington State, 1890--1938 MPS
NRHP Reference # 88002759[1]
Added to NRHP December 15, 1988

Cushman Dam No. 1 is a hydroelectric dam on the North Fork of the Skokomish River in Mason County, Washington, which impounded and enlarged the formerly natural Lake Cushman. It was built by Tacoma City Light (now Tacoma Power) in 1924-1926. Tacoma's demand for electricity grew rapidly after World War I. Tacoma City Light’s Nisqually River Hydroelectric Project, built in 1912, could not meet the demand and the utility decided to build a new hydroelectric project on the North Fork Skokomish River. The dam and powerhouse first began to deliver electricity on February 12, 1926.[3]

It has a concrete arch design and includes 90,000 cubic yards (69,000 m³) of concrete, covering a whole 6,244 feet (1903 m) of water. Two 21,600 kilowatt generators provide 127 million kilowatt-hours annually to the Tacoma Power system.

Construction began on July 7, 1924, under the commissioner Ira S. Davidsson (1918–1940). It has a top width of eight feet (2.4 m) and a base width of 50 feet (15 m), at 275 feet (84 m) high and 1,111 feet (339 m) long. The transmission of electricity to Tacoma, over lines crossing Tacoma Narrows, was activated, or "formally energized", on March 23, 1926, with the push of a button by President Calvin Coolidge in a ceremony at the White House.[4]

A second, smaller dam, Cushman Dam No. 2, 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) downstream of Dam No. 1, was completed by December 1930.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Soderberg, Lisa (October 23, 1986), National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Cushman No. 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (PDF), retrieved February 19, 2015 .
  3. ^ "Tacoma City Light's Cushman Dam No. 1 on the Skokomish River delivers electricity on March 23, 1926.". Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  4. ^ "Cushman Hydroelectric Project Timeline" (PDF). Tacoma Power. Retrieved 2009-07-14.