kids encyclopedia robot

Youghiogheny River Lake facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Youghiogheny River Lake
USACE Youghiogheny Lake and Dam.jpg
The Yoghiogheny River Lake as viewed from below the Youghiogheny Dam
Location Fayette / Somerset counties, Pennsylvania, and Garrett County, Maryland
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Youghiogheny River
Primary outflows Youghiogheny River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 16 miles (26 km)
Surface elevation 1,440 feet (440 m)

The Youghiogheny River Lake is a flood control reservoir in southwestern Pennsylvania and western Maryland. The lake is a significant tourist attraction, bringing over one million visitors a year to the area.

The lake was formed in 1944 by the damming of the Youghiogheny River upstream from Confluence, Pennsylvania. Youghiogheny Dam is an earthen structure, 184 feet (56 m) high and 1,610 feet (490 m) long at its crest, owned and operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The reservoir's normal surface area is about 4.4 square miles (11 km2), and it has a maximum capacity of 300,000 acre feet (370,000,000 m3), although its normal storage level is 149,300 acre feet (184,200,000 m3). The dam facilitates flood control, improves river flow and provides 12 megawatts of hydroelectric power. U.S. Route 40 crosses the lake between Jockey Hollow on the Fayette County side and Somerfield on the Somerset County side.

Map of Somerfield, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, from 1860 Somerset County Map by Edward L Walker
Somerfield, Somerset County, PA, 1860 (note orientation of map: north at bottom)

Somerfield was laid out on the western edge of Addison Township, Somerset County, about 1816 by Philip D. Smyth, who originally named the settlement Smythfield. Somerfield was abandoned, razed, and inundated when the reservoir was filled in the 1940s. The stone Great Crossings Bridge of the National Road, which crossed the Youghiogheny at Somerfield, is visible at extremely low water levels. The triple-arch sandstone bridge was constructed between 1815 and 1818 by James Kinkead, James Beck, and Evan Evans.

kids search engine
Youghiogheny River Lake Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.