Kansas Reservoir

Major flooding of the Missouri River in the early 1940s brought the concept of flood control measures to a national level.  The result was the Flood Control Act of 1944, also known as the Pick-Sloan Plan, which coordinated plans by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation to construct reservoirs for the entire Missouri River Basin as means to control flooding.

Within the state of Kansas, 24 reservoirs were created by dams constructed over major waterways.  Included are Kanopolis (1948); Fall River (1949); Cedar Bluff (1950); Toronto (1960); Pomona (1962); Tuttle Creek (1963); John Redmond, Council Grove, Milford, (1964); Wilson (1965); Perry, Elk City (1966); Marion (1968); Melvern (1970); Clinton (1977); and Hillsdale, Big Hill, El Dorado (1981). Within the Kansas City metropolitan area, 3 reservoirs were constructed, including Blue Springs (1988), Longview (1985), and Smithville (1977).  The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation did its part to create multipurpose dams in Kansas, all of them in western Kansas: Cedar Bluff (1950); Kirwin (1955); Webster (1956); Lovewell (1957); Norton, Cheney (1964); and Glen Elder/Waconda (1967).

With the passage of several pieces of Federal legislature, the impact of reservoir construction on cultural resources was partially mitigated.  Under contract with the National Park Service, the US Army Corps of Engineers, or the Bureau of Reclamation, the University of Kansas conducted salvage investigations at several of the Kansas Lakes beginning in the 1960s.  The investigations are organized in tables below according to the responsible Federal agencies and district.  Each table is followed by Finding Aids for the related projects, when available.



Bureau of Reclamation Collection (pdf)


Kansas City District Corps of Engineers Collection (pdf)

Guide to the Kanopolis Reservoir Collection (pdf)

Guide to the Melvern Reservoir Collection (pdf)

Guide to the Milford Reservoir Collection (pdf)

Guide to the Perry Reservoir Collection (pdf)

Guide to the Tuttle Creek Reservoir Collection (pdf)



Omaha District Corps of Engineers Collection (pdf)


Tulsa District Corps of Engineers Collection (pdf)