The gates of the brand new John Day Dam were closed for the first time at 8:45am on Tuesday, April 16, 1968 (The Oregonian, 17-April-1968).
At about two feet per hour, it took less than two days for the 76 mile long Lake Umatilla to fill to a depth of over 100 feet behind the newest dam on the lower Columbia.
The Oregonian reported the next day:
It its rapid rise the river inundated wild goose nesting islands, covered forever many ancient and priceless Indian stone carvings, and flooded the original sites of the towns of Arlington, Blalock and Boardman on the Oregon shore, and Roosevelt and Plymoth on the Washington shore. But on the plus side, it also wiped out such long-time hazards to river navigation as the turbulant Indian rapids, the John Day upper, middle and lower rapids, and Squally Hook. So where artists, birdlovers and sentimentalists are saddened by the event, commercial boatmen are jubilant.
Leave a Reply