Completed in during the Great Depression , the dam generates electricity and provides irrigation water for several irrigation districts in Oregon and neighboring Idaho. At the time of completion, it was the tallest dam of its type in the world it was surpassed about two years later. The dam impounds the river to create the Owyhee Reservoir , with storage capacity of nearly 1,, acre-feet 1. Haystack Rock Road is carried over the foot m long crest of the dam. Former Oregonian and then United States President Herbert Hoover dedicated what was the highest dam of its type in the world on July 17,
The Owyhee River is far less famous than the Colorado, which carved the Grand Canyon and backs up behind the most famous dam of all--Hoover. Owyhee Dam, the tallest in the world when completed in , is significant as a proving ground for engineering techniques used later in construction of Hoover Dam. An fur trapper account says the river was named for three native Hawaiian fur trappers who were killed by Indians while trapping in the area for the Northwest Company. The Hudson Bay Company also was known to employ Hawaiians, hundreds of whom arrived at Fort Vancouver as indentured servants. The Owyhee River was an early candidate for damming when the U.
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