Dive into the Submerged Past.

The remains of hundreds of communities in the American West sit quietly below reservoir waters. Help us locate and tell the stories of these drowned towns!

The Atlas of Drowned Towns is an effort to recover and interpret the histories of places lost to “river development projects” — large dams. The project is:

  • Collaborative: work with local historical societies, Tribal governments, federal agencies, private companies, and other interested scholars and students
  • Community focused: emphasize the perspectives and experiences of displaced people and their descendants
  • Comparative: provide ways to compare, contrast, and learn from the diverse processes and experiences of displacement
  • Comprehensive: encompass the myriad kinds of homes displaced and disappeared by reservoirs, from incorporated towns and unincorporated villages to Tribal homelands and isolated farms and villages
  • Coherent: provide a platform by which to navigate between and make sense of the histories of these diverse communities
  • Connected: to the many other scholars and people working on histories of displacement

Explore the directory and map of drowned towns, find out more about the project and the next version of the Atlas, learn more about displaced communities, and share what you know or want to discover about these lost places!