Greers Ferry Dam
|Greers Ferry Dam|
Greers Ferry Dam in Cleburne County, Arkansas
Location of Greers Ferry Dam in Arkansas
|Location||Cleburne County, Arkansas|
|Construction cost||$46.5 million|
|Dam and spillways|
|Impounds||Little Red River|
|Height||243 feet (74 m)|
|Length||1,704 feet (519 m)|
|Dam volume||1,146 square miles (2,970 km2)|
|Creates||Greers Ferry Lake|
|Total capacity||2,844,000 acre·ft (3.508 km3)|
|Surface area||40,500 acres (16,400 ha)|
|Installed capacity||48 megawatts (64,000 hp)|
|Annual generation||189 gigawatt-hours (6.4×1011 BTU)|
Building the dam
Construction of the dam began in March 1959 and was completed in December 1962. The lake serves the Heber Springs area flood control, and is a site for recreation and power generation. When construction began on the dam in 1956, hundreds of workers showed up looking for work. The newly hired workers then rented empty houses next to the construction site, and workers were even building their own homes next to the soon-to-be lake. Once all the workers arrived, people and business owners saw an opportunity in this construction and built motels, shops, and stores next to the construction site so workers would have a place to shop and relax. Farmers also felt the benefit of the construction, as work on the lake created demand for livestock and agriculture.
After completion, the lake was dedicated on October 3, 1963 by John F. Kennedy. The trip was his last major public appearance before his fateful trip to Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, where he was assassinated. This event marks the only time a sitting president has visited Cleburne County. In his remarks in Heber Springs, Kennedy explained that the Greers Ferry project and others like it were investments in Arkansas and the nation's future. He was right - after the lake filled, tourism boomed, many businesses opened and reopened, and Greers Ferry Lake became one of Arkansas' leading destinations. Today, many resort communities dot the shores of Greers Ferry Lake.
- "Greers Ferry Dam, A project of the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers" (PDF). Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce. October 3, 1963: 1. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
- "Remarks in Heber Springs, Arkansas, at the Dedication of Greers Ferry Dam". The American Presidency Project. October 3, 1963. Retrieved August 2, 2011.