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Jun 21, 2012 9:44 AM by Jen Hollenbach - MTN News

Fort Peck Dam marks 75th anniversary

As part of President Roosevelt's "New Deal" in the 1930s, workers started constructing the Fort Peck Dam in Montana; it quickly became one of the largest projects during the Great Depression, and created the town of Fort Peck.

Reporter Jen Hollenbach visited the site earlier this week.

In recent decades, the dam has become a tourist attraction as visitors across the country are intrigued by the story and the people behind it.

Now, as the dam celebrates its 75th annivesary, Park Ranger Michele Framdahl says it's time to focus less on the dam and more on the people who gave all they had to see it succeed.

John Daggett, the operations project manager at the site, said, "We want to honor all those that worked on the dam and have helped operate and maintain the dam the last 75 years. In particular we wanted to honor those whole lost their lives in the construction of the dam."

Fromdahl noted, "There was a total of 61 people that died in construction related accidents during the construction of the dam itself."

Of the 61 who died, all but two are known.

To honor their lives, their names will be engraved into granite overlooking the dam.

Framdahl says they'll continue researching to find who the other two are, and then add them to the monument.

The official Fort Peck Dam website states: "According to the World Almanac, Fort Peck Dam, MT is the largest embankment dam in the United States with the fifth-largest man-made reservoir. The vast size of Fort Peck Lake and its remoteness from major population centers provides a variety of high quality outdoor experiences including camping, boating, fishing, hunting, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing. This project has 19 recreation areas."

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