Paddles of the Past: The Construction of Summersville Dam

Do you enjoy watching explosions and massive machines moving tons of rock? Then this is the history for you.

When construction began on Summersville Dam in 1960, its primary purpose was to mitigate flood potential downstream at population centers like Charleston, WV. In the 50-odd years since, Summersville Dam has saved countless lives and prevented untold billions in property damage, but the earthen behemoth would soon also change the face of tourism and recreation in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Here's the story of how Summersville Dam came to be, told by the men and women who built it.

Whitewater raft on the Gauley River below the Dam, and share a connection to history.

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