The Terminus Dam was completed in 1962, but it’s history goes way back.
In the 20s, that’s 1920s, California was looking into damming up rivers for irrigation purposes and flood control.
In 1938 there was a devastating flood in Tulare County.
John Steinbeck, the author, was actually present in Tulare County at the time, and it’s said that he inserted his experience and wrote about it in the final chapter of his classic novel “The Grapes of Wrath.”
Well, whether or not that’s true, the flood control act of 1944 did authorize several dams to be built, the Terminus Dam being one of them.
The Terminus Dam was named that because it was build on Terminus Beach, a sandy spot along the river.
Even though it was created for flood control, sometimes mother nature is too much.
That’s what happened in 1997.
There was so much rain and snow melt that year that the lake filled, had to be emptied, it filled again, and had to be emptied a second time.
Since then the dam has been modified to increase the lake’s capacity.
Well the river that was dammed up, and the resulting lake were named after a Yokuts word that actually means “crow” or “raven”.
That word is kaweah.
And now Lake Kaweah is on the map of Tulare County.
With Josh Dean behind the camera, I’m AJ Fox.