Although the lake is “drained” annually to about half-full in order to protect the dam from the pressure and friction of ice, this year the lake is being completely emptied to prepare for a substantial repair to the main leaky valve. The project is paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was awarded to Northstar Technology Corporation.
The Hume Lake Dam is part of the Historic American Engineering Record, because it was the world’s first reinforced concrete multiple arch dam. Built to create a reservoir for the Hume-Bennett Lumber Company, today it is the only major surviving structure representing the Kings River Basin’s redwood logging industry. It is significant for its innovative use of reinforced concrete and for its association with an important regional industry.
Edit—Waiting on accurate information
Over the next few months, a coffer dam will be built to hold back the combined Long Meadow and Ten Mile creeks and a new, remotely actuated, solar powered, 36″ valve will be installed. Until now, the valve has had to be manually opened and closed at the base of the dam. That, coupled with an exceptionally large amount of precipitation, has on several occasions led to a spectacular—yet ultimately damaging—waterfall over the dam.
In the meantime, we’re getting a view of what lies beneath Hume Lake. A view that has been rarely seen (in it’s entirety) over the last 100 years. That view is of Long Meadow.
In 1908 the Hume Bennett lumber company made the decision to move from Converse Basin to “Long Meadow, a beautiful, grassy tableland … at the confluence of Tenmile and Long Meadow Creeks”. By June crews were blasting out dam foundations. The dam was finished in November. In June of 1909 after inspection the lake started to fill.
–They Felled the Redwoods, Johnston, Page 99
Lastly, if you’re a fishermen concerned about your favorite fishing hole—have no fear! Each year Hume Lake is restocked with thousands of pounds of fish! Whether you’re coming to our Fishermens Retreat in April or May of 2011, or you’re planning your own fishing trip, Hume Lake will be ready for you!
US Forest Service Official Press Release
FedBizOps Contract Award
Schedule of Proposed Actions: Sequoia National Forest
Library of Congress: Historic American Engineering Record