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Bagnell Dam, Osage Beach

(3.1/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
Bagnell Dam impounds the Osage River in the U.S. state of Missouri, creating the Lake of the Ozarks. The 148foot tall concrete gravity dam was built by the Union Electric Company (now AmerenUE) for the purpose of hydroelectric power generation as its Osage Powerplant. It is 2543ft long, including a 520ft long spillway and a 511ft long power station. The facility with eight generators has a maximum capacity of 215 megawatts.EtymologyThe dam derives its name from Bagnell, Missouri at the dam site which preceded the dam. It in turn derives its name from William Bagnell, who platted the town in 1883. A variant name is the "Osage Dam".GeographyThe dam is located in the city of Lakeside in Miller County, near the Camden-Miller County line.HistoryConstruction started on the dam in 1929 and was completed in 1931. The resulting reservoir, the Lake of the Ozarks, has a surface area of, over 1150mi of shoreline (1850 km), and stretches 94mi from end to end. At the time of construction it was one of the largest man-made lakes in the world and the largest in the United States.The concept of a hydro electric power plant on the Osage River was first introduced by a Kansas City developer as long ago as 1912. Ralph Street managed to put together the funding to construct a dam across the Osage River and began building roads, railroads and support structures necessary to begin construction of a dam that would impound a much smaller lake than what is now known as Lake of the Ozarks. Sometime in the mid-1920s, Street’s funding dried up and he had to abandon the idea of the first hydroelectric power plant on the Osage River.
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8 days in Lake of the Ozarks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Missouri BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Missouri BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Lake of the Ozarks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Missouri BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: February, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Lake of the Ozarks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Nashville, Nauvoo & Osage Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, teens, kids, outdoors, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Lake of the Ozarks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Osage Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Missouri BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Lake of the Ozarks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • You will be in awe while either driving over The Dam, or while driving past it via HWY 54. I suggest a visit to the Wilmore Lodge to get it's history via it's photos and print. 
  • Impressive site with an underground Museum. Great place to take the kids for a fun and educational experience. 
  • Our plan was to drive over the dam, but we missed the turn so we checked out the scenic overlooks above the dam and then ended up at the base of it. There's plenty of gravel parking and it's a short w...  more »