Coolidge Dam

Coolidge Dam

Coolidge Dam, 249 ft (76 m) high, 920 ft (280 m) long, on the Gila River, SE Ariz.; built 1927-28. It irrigates c.100,000 acres (40,470 hectares), half of which are Native American lands in San Carlos Reservation. San Carlos Reservoir, formed behind the dam, lies above old tribal burial grounds and the former camp of Geronimo.
The Coolidge Dam is a reinforced concrete multiple dome and buttress dam southeast of Globe, Arizona on the Gila River. Built between 1924 and 1928, the Coolidge Dam was part of the San Carlos Irrigation Project. Coolidge Dam was named after the 30th US President, Calvin Coolidge and was dedicated by President Coolidge on March 4 1930. The design and construction engineer was Herman Neuffer, who oversaw much of the construction undertaken by the Bureau during the 1920s in Arizona and New Mexico.

Coolidge Dam impounds San Carlos Lake in the San Carlos Indian Reservation. The project irrigates 100,000 acres (400 km²). Coolidge Dam was designed and constructed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which also owns and operates it. The dam was built between 1924 and 1928. The overall structure used of concrete and consists of three domes, which are supported by massive buttresses on centers. It rises , with a crest length of . Two uncontrolled ogee crest spillways are concrete lined and located on each abutment.

San Carlos Lake is seldom full except in unusually wet periods. When former President Coolidge dedicated the dam, Cherokee humorist Will Rogers looked at the grass in the lake bed, and said, “If this were my dam, I’d mow it.”


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