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Bagnell Dam, Osage Beach

Categories: Dams, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
3.1/5 based on 160+ 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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  • Good view of the lake. We drove over several times on our weekend getaway. Not a must see but neat if you have time to drive over 
  • I've started visiting Bagnell dam area as a child with my parents in 1964 and have returned to this area all my life.. It's sad to see what the hotels have done to the area. Back in the day people wit...  read more »
  • Seems a little run down so very dissapointing. Need to make the dam area a better tourist attractions. The strip of stores were nothing special and really did not want to get out of my car. 
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