Scenic USA - West Virginia

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
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Tygart Dam

Tygart Dam

Photo and Feature Article by Jack Ryan
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     Winding its way amid rolling hills of Tygart Lake State Park is the 1750-acre Tygart Lake, which supplies water for the nearby town of Grafton, West Virginia. The Tygart Dam, constructed in 1938 at a cost of $18.43 million, was built in part to control floods along the Tygart River Valley as well as the Upper Ohio and Monongahela rivers. It was not until the dam was built that the lake was formed and renamed. Once named the Monongahela, the river continues northward toward Pittsburgh, and regains its old name at Fairmont, West Virginia.
     Today, the dam, which measures 1921 feet long, 230 feet high and 207 feet wide, is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Pittsburgh District. Since its completion, the dam has prevented flood damages estimated to be nearly $1.2 billion. A visitor center on the property contains displays related to the lake and surrounding area. The three-quarter-mile dam trail lets hikers see the massive structure from top to bottom.
     For those looking to stay overnight, the beautiful Tygart State Park Lodge, perched on a promontary overlooking the lake, has 17 guest rooms, four executive suites and a 100-seat restaurant with expansive views of the lake. Nearly a dozen vacation cabins in wooded areas are available for rent as well. An 18-hole public golf course awaits nearby the lodge.
     Other attractions in the area include the International Mother's Day Shrine, the site of the first Mother's Day Service on May 10, 1907; and the Grafton National Cemetery, the first national cemetery in West Virginia. Those interred here include Private Thornsbury Bailey Brown, the first Union soldier to be killed by Confederate forces during the Civil War.


 

 

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