98 years and counting. Definitely not as structurally sound as it should be after being taken out of use in the 1940’s and not maintained since, but the Kennedy Mine Impound Dam is still standing. The dam is a somewhat hidden reminder of both the environmental impact of mining and of the Gold Rush legacy in California.
(click through on the image to view in 700px)
The dam was constructed in 1914 after legislation was enacted following a torrential rain storm in 1911 causing mine waste to flow downstream and contaminate fertile farmland. Mines were then subsequently by law to hold all waste in impound dams rather than discharging into local rivers and streams. Of course, this meant/means that the land ground and groundwater around these impound dams were/are contaminated by caustic chemicals used in the mining process.
This photograph is an abstract of an arched dam designed by the renown John S. Eastwood, constructed by the Eastwood Construction Company, and is the last dam personally supervised by Eastwood. The arched dam design competed against the higher-cost gravity design during the early 1900’s as the Western states became engaged in water reclamation projects. As can be evidenced now, the gravity design won out in popularity due to political influence.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, ISO 100, 160mm, f/8, 1/10 sec
Jackson (CA), Kennedy Impound Dam, Abstract. Jackson, California. February 23, 2013. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.