August 14 – November 29, 2020


A dam is a structure built across a river or stream to hold water. People have used different materials to build dams over the centuries such as rocks or clay. Dams provided farmers with a steady source of water to irrigate crops. During the Industrial Revolution, engineers began to build bigger dams, using concrete. These industrial-sized dams could hold back more water to power the big machinery of factories and mines. They also could turn giant turbines to generate electricity.

The Colorado – Big Thompson Project includes 15 dams built to help collect melting snow in the upper Colorado River basin west of the Continental Divide and then help store the water once it has moved to the Eastern Slope. This photographic exhibit focuses on the dams built by the Bureau of Reclamation during the early construction of the Colorado – Big Thompson Project.