Lake & Dam History

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Historical markers commerating Frank Lugert and W.C. Austin are near the Main Boat Ramp.

November, 1925, preferential vote, voters signified they wanted Lugert project above Bitter Creek.

January, 1926 voted $690,000 Lugert bond issue.

August 1926 contracts let to H.L. Cannaday and Standard Paving Company to build Lugert project.
August 20, 1926, first car of material for building Lugert camp unloaded at dam site.

September 16, the Lugert camp completed.
September 17, a swinging bridge across the North Fork of the Red River completed.
September 19, form building yard for building concrete forms completed, grading for industrial railroad at Lugert and foundations for towers begun. Power plant completed.

October 4, first flood with river bank full and washout of Orient railroad bridge stopped work for a few days on account of inability to get materials.
October 10, industrial railroad completed.
October 10, second flood and Orient bridge again washed out, delaying work.
October 11, P.H. crane taken across river for excavation work.
October 31, rock excavation work for cut of underway, steel or sheet piling driven to turn river channel.

November 1, concrete forms set, towers completed, cement mixing plant completed. Towers 100 feet high with span of 640 feet for swinging materials across river.
November 15, digging down of north bank of river through quicksand for foundation of north side of dam. This required three pumps and was one of the most difficult jobs of the work. Cut off trench excavation completed and first coffer dam competed.
November 23, first concrete poured on south side of river for three buttresses.

December 8, fighting against time to complete coffer dams and pour footing on north side of river on account of warning of flood.
December 9, saved the work then completed by completing coffer dam by all night work.
December 23, poured footing for first sluice gate on north side. River condition at this time bank to bank and coffer dam number one begun.
December 30, concrete cut off and coffer dam number one completed.
December 31, pulled piling on north side.

January 2, driving piling for second coffer dam.
January 14, Number two coffer dam completed. Ice and snow covered ground.
January 28, dam cover completed north bank, excavation on coffer dam number two well under way.
January 31, biggest sets of forms set and work under full sway with 24 hours a day work. Abandoned ditcher on pipeline no account of quicksand and did work with drag line.

February 6, first big day of Sunday visitors.

March 1, entire o closed. Ice and snow caused workmen to crawl on hands and knees about work.
March 5, excavation for diversion through dam begun.
March 8, water turned through two north sluice gates.
March 13, wreck on Orient railroad near dam.
March 15, coffer dam number two dewatered.
March 18, building of cut off walls to south bank.
March 26, last sluice gate into place.

The next 15 days were required to make closure of dam. men well organized and closed up work without danger, built beyond danger point in 13 days and the company gave employees a banquet and dance.

April 10, weather fine, water low.
April 11, recovered piling and raised crane that floods caught in river.

May 30, poured last bit of concrete.

June finished control house and completed dam.

July and August spent in completing pipeline which was completed this month.

18 miles of pipe were necessary to empty the Lugert dam water into the reservoir on the north edge of the city. Null supervised the laying of 24,200 feet of 24-inch pipe, 42,100 feet of 20-inch pipe and 24,200 feet of 18-inch pipe. ... The wood used in these pipes is an air-dried redwood with a moisture content of approximately 10 percent, or less, according to Null.

August 14, 1927 First overflow

The dam is a slab buttress design Ambursen Type five hundred fifty-eight (558) feet across the top at crest elevation on one thousand five hundred ten (1,510) feet arched to conform to a saddle of solid rock between granite hills as a foundation. create a reservior and impound 17,000 acre feet (or 5,533,900,000 gallons) of water, covering a area of 1,300 acres.

The city stocked the lake with fish and made a start in developing the park area before it officially became a State Park in 1935.

Quartz Mountain was established as a CCC camp in late 1935 under the direction of the National Park Service. The park had the benefit of planning by a full corps of men technically trained in all phases of park activity and developments. Money for park development came almost entirely from ECW funds.

The Oklahoma State Park Commission was created March 1, 1935, as a subdivision of the Game and Fish Commission. The commission learned the National Park Service was willing and anxious to assist the State of Oklahoma in developing a state park system. ECW funds and CCC labor were available for the development, if Federal Government requirements could be met by the State.

One of the requirements was that the State must own the land on which parks were located before work could be undertaken. The City of Altus and private citizens donated 3,000 acres of land at Quartz Mountain to create one of seven original Oklahoma State Parks. (Beavers Bend, Boiling Springs, Lake Murray, Osage Hills, Quartz Mountain, Robber's Cave and Roman Nose).

In early 1937,the National Park Service turned over Quartz Mountain to the State of Oklahoma after having constructed roads, picnic areas, shelters, comfort stations and trails at an approximate cost of $150,000.00.

TBC-The second dam and second lake

The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1938 authorized construction of the Lugert-Altus Flood Control and Reclamation Reservoir. The project was designed to raise the dam and corresponding lake level 50 feet to its present level for the purpose of irrigating ~ 48,000 acres of cropland in SW Oklahoma and to provide flood control.

W.C. Austin Dam completed.

Features/Facilities: 6,260 Lake Acres • 4,284 Park Acres • Resort Lodge (118 guest rooms and suites) • 8 Cabins (with kitchenettes) • Mountainview Bunkhouse (64-person dormitory) • Performing Arts Complex • 5 Performing Arts Pavilions • Outdoor Amphitheatre (capacity of 200) • 5 Camping Areas, • 19 Full Hookups • 100 Electric/Water Hookups (5 handicap accessible) • 99 Primitive Sites • Restrooms / Showers (4 handicap accessible) • Sanitary Dump Stations • Boat Ramps • Group Camp (capacity 125) • Nature Center • Naturalist • Hiking Trails • Giftshop • North Shore ATV Area (Apr. 1- Oct. 31) • Sand Dunes • Swimming Beaches • Miniature Golf • Water Skiing • Paddleboats • Grocery Store