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Belle Fourche (Orman) Dam Collection

 Unprocessed Material — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H2011-022

Content Description

The collection consists of photographs depicting the construction of the Belle Fourche (Orman) Dam. The dam is located on Owl Creek and is approximately ten miles east of Belle Fourche (S.D.) in Butte County. The dam was completed in 1911 to store water for agricultural use, creating the Belle Fourche Reservoir. At the time of its completion the Belle Fourche (Orman) Dam was the largest earthen dam on Earth. In 1989, the Belle Fourche (Orman) Dam was designated as an official National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The collection consist of 101 photographs, mostly postcards, 4x5, and some 8x10 images, of the construction of the Belle Fourche (Orman) Dam. The construction period for the dam was from 1906 to 1911 and consists of a homogenous earthfill dam protected upstream by riprap and concrete, 6,262 feet long and 122 feet high. Scenes in the collection include: workers and equipment, dam construction, making and laying concrete blocks, steam shovels, steam tractors, earth moving equipment, trains and train cars, conduits, canals, spillway, outlets, horses, and piping. The photos were removed from the Victor E. Thorsell Collection held at the Boise State University Library. The collection includes postcards not related to the dam which will be placed in box 8535C including: Bear Butte, Whitewood Tunnel, Deadwood, Lead, Homestake Mine (interior), Homestake Mine (Exterior), and Devil’s Tower.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • ca. 1909-1911



0.1 Cubic Feet