Buffalo Creek Park Dam – Coggon IA


The New Deal dam in Coggon, located in northeastern Linn County, was replaced in 1967 by the current dam, known as the Buffalo Creek Park Dam.41 The New Deal dam was built in order to restore Manhattan Lake in Coggon. Construction began in September 1934 with labor supplied by FERA. Although the date of completion was not discovered, it was originally estimated that the dam would take four months to construct, suggesting an expected completion date in early 1935. However, just as with the FERA dam in Quasqueton, the construction of the Coggon Dam took considerably longer than originally estimated. One problem was a disagreement between the state and Linn County regarding which of the two would pay the $700 cost for materials. It was not until December 1934 that the state agreed to absorb the expense.

But other delays seem to have occurred, since again, the completion of the Coggon Dam became a WPA project in the fall of 1935. The dam was probably completed in 1936, since a photograph of it taken in February 1936 appears to show it uncompleted (see photograph below). This dam is identified on its WPA project card as a “rock fill dam.” The 1936 photograph of the dam, however, appears to show its downstream slope constructed of concrete, making it unclear exactly where rock was used in the dam and where concrete was used. The amount approved by the WPA for completing the Coggon Dam was almost $27,000, more than was typically requested for entire New Deal dam projects in the Wapsipinicon watershed, and much more than the $3,020 approved for the completion of the Quasqueton Dam. The reason for the large amount requested is not presently known.

Source notes

Building Jobs in Iowa New Deal Dams of the Wapsipinicon River Watershed in Northeast Iowa By Richard J. Carlson and Chérie E. Haury-Artz

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on June 19, 2017.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Coggon, IA

Coordinates: 42.282950, -91.532135

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