For the past 100 years, Lahontan Dam has been the lifeblood for Fallon’s agriculture industry.
Without the iconic dam, the dynamic of Fallon and Churchill County would be radically different. The truth is the dam is here and at 10 a.m. Saturday residents can tour the dam and celebrate alongside the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District.
The event runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and TCID will provide refreshments, although the 100th anniversary ceremony is scheduled from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. at the south side of the dam.
TCID’s board of directors are hosting a public celebration at the dam and welcome David Murillo, the regional director of the Mid-Pacific Region as keynote speaker.
TCID President Ernie Schank and Project Manager Rusty Jardine will also speak about the influence and history of the dam and Newlands Project.
“It’s important because it symbolizes the impact and role that this project has had,” Jardine said. “Reconginze, but for this project, what would this be like. This is the promise that brought people here and developed this community.”
Invitations were sent to the Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Estevan Lopez, in addition to U.S. Sens. Dean Heller and Harry Reid, Rep. Mark Amodei and Gov. Brian Sandoval. TCID, though, has not received any confirmations from the five men.
While the politicans and commissioner may not be present, Murillo holds one of the highest offices in the U.S. Department of the Interior.
More importantly, though, Jardine said this celebration allows residents to come and view the dam and its facilities, which are typically not open to the public. Tours of the hydroelectric facilities at Old and New Lahontan will be open, while Schank will detail the tower and its importance to the dam and generating power.
Meanwhile, director Wade Workman will be on the grill cooking up food during the event.
“It should be an enjoyable time,” Jardine said. “We are inviting everyone. Come out and take a look at the facilities if you’ve never seen them before.”
Construction on Lahontan Dam started in February 1911 after the site was purchased from Francis G. Newlands in 1904. The dam was finally completed in 1915 allowing for a cost of $1 million.
In addition, water storage reaches about 300,000 acre-feet. The dam, meanwhile, was also a design inspiration for Hoover Dam on the Colorado River south of Las Vegas.