Directory of Drowned Towns

See below for a growing and evolving list of communities in the American West that may have been displaced and/or disappeared by river development projects. Please note: this list is a product of tips, suggestions, and bits & pieces gathered from the internet, and so some of these places may not in fact have been inundated by dams and their reservoirs. That’s part of the point of this project — to identify real and truly “drowned towns.”

This list is woefully incomplete — please help! Do you know of other such displaced communities? Do you know more about these places? Were these communities not actually drowned by river development projects? Share your knowledge with The Atlas of Drowned Towns!

PlaceRiverYear of InundationInundated by...Latitude/Longitude (approximate)Links to additional information
American FallsSnake River1925American Falls Dam42.81266723196502, -112.8681006673452
Fort Hall BottomsSnake River1925American Falls Dam42.995603, -112.649082http://shobannews.com/local_sb0509a05wd.html
OtisSnake River1925American Falls Dam43.006467223404655, -112.73508985678019
TildenSnake River1925American Falls Dam43.006467223404655, -112.73508985678019
YumaSnake River1925American Falls Dam43.006467223404655, -112.73508985678019
PineBoise River1950Anderson Ranch Dam43.47249343872183, -115.30346458988112
CopperApplegate River1908Applegate Dam42.0265136, -123.1467152https://www.ijpr.org/show/as-it-was/2018-11-08/as-it-was-owners-sacrifice-land-and-dreams-for-applegate-dam
MontourPayette River1924Black Canyon Dam43.93242952145176, -116.33097272676146
SapineroGunnison River1965Blue Mesa Reservoir38.47042, -107.30600https://www.uncovercolorado.com/towns/sapinero/
North BonnevilleColumbia River1983Bonneville Dam (expansion)45.648644, -121.941103
RobinetteSnake River1957Brownlee Dam44.747464702829085, -117.0508663359263
CometSnake River1952C.J. Strike Dam42.94864444867623, -115.96538722115699
Garnet / Hall's FerrySnake River1952C.J. Strike Dam42.9970155425437, -115.9495082046538
CantonMissouri River1954Canyon Ferry Dam46.41425491385925, -111.48331113038294
ArlingPayette River1957Cascade Dam44.624070329950094, -116.05983597165543
CenterPayette River1957Cascade Dam44.603484755297295, -116.06487983091786
Van WyckPayette River1957Cascade Dam44.51046784592411, -116.07893357370382
ArmsteadBeaverhead River1961Clark Canyon Dam44.9724206, -112.8641913
HebronWillamette River (Coast Fork)1949Cottage Grove Dam43.69901, -123.07869
ScismBoise River1908Deer Flat Upper Embankment43.52416890527892, -116.62329791388126
DetroitNorth Santiam River1953Detroit Dam44.728775735825984, -122.16450540687326
LowellWillamette River (Middle Fork)1954Dexter Dam43.916050, -122.789933
JacksonvilleTuolumne River1971Don Pedro Dam37.838125, -120.345685https://diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/191578
DorenaRow River1949Dorena Dam43.7754013, -122.9284061https://edits.nationalmap.gov/apps/gaz-domestic/public/search/names/35af34b5-2f8c-55b2-aca5-2924db66ca1d/summary
http://dorenahistoricalsociety.com/
Big IslandClearwater River1966Dworshak Dam46.61917080960798, -116.26538775282337
DentClearwater River1966Dworshak Dam46.6237922, -116.2031995
Klamath JunctionEmigrant Creek1960Emigrant Dam42.141811, -122.616857https://www.ijpr.org/show/as-it-was/2017-12-19/as-it-was-klamath-junction-emerges-from-drought-stricken-emigrant-lake
Mormon IslandAmerican River1951Folsom Dam38.7035, -121.11745
Foster [?]South Santiam River1967Foster Dam44.4104025, -122.6723065
MillertonSan Joaquin River1942Friant Dam37.0152273, -119.6593093http://www.gribblenation.org/2018/09/ghost-town-tuesday-millerton-california.html
BoydsColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam48.714497124348384, -118.13256724961393
DaisyColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam48.36188111467292, -118.1599909265287
Enterprise [?]Columbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam48.089877, -118.232753
GeromeColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam48.03851241116996, -118.28889893462558
IncheliumColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam48.307264701830626, -118.17255026704845
KellerColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam47.98144768869323, -118.68681692569858
LincolnColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam47.829073528191, -118.41482036542644
MarcusColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam48.66357183474833, -118.06372939710393
Old Kettle FallsColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam48.57703439262213, -118.10468610859041
PeachColumbia River1942Grand Coulee Dam47.82464295258489, -118.37237396589313
St. ThomasColorado River1938Hoover Dam36.466628294819145, -114.37057850150242
ArlingtonColumbia River1963John Day Dam45.71685553633079, -120.20160395435555
ArlingtonColumbia River1963John Day Dam45.725307, -120.206527https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/arlington/#.YZGxR1NlA1I
BoardmanColumbia River1965John Day Dam45.856866, -119.702900https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/boardman/#.YZGwIFNlA1I
GatewayKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.999043533143364, -115.17890107531069https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
JenningsKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.36853413772606, -115.32014486764679https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
Old RexfordKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.91028180774813, -115.18228293964124https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
RondoKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.904074385937605, -115.1766999186597https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
Sheldon CanyonKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.45712860987496, -115.30290984316753https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
StonehillKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.78383470698119, -115.30641695618019https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
TweedKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.62765709007498, -115.28117772803553https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
UralKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.611316272277485, -115.25783178205558https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
ValcourKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.54590009703298, -115.23997899983563https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
WarlandKootenai River1975Libby Dam48.52953282006976, -115.25920508218444https://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/dead-and-buried-reflections-on-life-before-the-libby-dam/article_766ffec0-742d-56d6-bf12-7b01cda83120.html
AlmotaSnake River1970Little Goose Dam46.7029373, -117.4693525
PenawawaSnake River1970Little Goose Dam46.7048787, -117.6888115https://content.libraries.wsu.edu/digital/collection/maps/id/329/
Blakelyville / Eula / ArmetWillamette River (Middle Fork)1953Lookout Point Dam43.8295689, -122.6150580https://edits.nationalmap.gov/apps/gaz-domestic/public/search/names/0494e336-160c-5706-b662-ebe05daa8da3/summary
CarterWillamette River (Middle Fork)1953Lookout Point Dam43.90679, -122.73312https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/downloads/k930bx102
LandaxWillamette River (Middle Fork)1953Lookout Point Dam43.79568, -122.55117https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/downloads/k930bx102
LawlerWillamette River (Middle Fork)1953Lookout Point Dam43.82207, -122.597https://www.ci.lowell.or.us/community/page/history
ReserveWillamette River (Middle Fork)1953Lookout Point Dam43.86374, -122.66784https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/downloads/k930bx102
SignalWillamette River (Middle Fork)1953Lookout Point Dam43.88596, -122.69562https://www.ci.lowell.or.us/community/page/history
WawawaiSnake River1975Lower Granite Dam46.6365482, -117.3793456https://www.historylink.org/File/7968 ;
RipariaSnake River1969Lower Monumental Dam46.5784792, -118.0868976
Moncton / Cedar FallsCedar River1915Masonry Dam47.428173, -121.777279https://www.historylink.org/File/2436
HoverColumbia River1953McNary Dam46.11533595666162, -118.9755557408523
WallulaColumbia River1953McNary Dam46.081131, -118.932173https://historylink.org/File/10524
MonticelloPutah Creek1953Monticello Dam38.57419086453242, -122.21106604837273
Los ArbolesSan Juan River1961Navajo Dam36.4801, -107.3645
RosaSan Juan River1961Navajo Dam36.4801, -107.3645
WatsonOwyhee River1932Owyhee Dam43.307588, -117.430439
Scoggins ValleyScoggins Creek1975Scogggins Dam45.478381, -123.214373https://thatoregonlife.com/2021/10/ghosts-of-henry-hagg-lake-scoggins-valley-oregon/
BairdSacramento River1945Shasta Dam40.79020156629712, -122.30522020431876
Copper CitySacramento River1945Shasta Dam40.774343822284685, -122.22144944971471
ElmoreSacramento River1945Shasta Dam40.80850351652418, -122.38660934139352
MorleySacramento River1945Shasta Dam40.77294104014996, -122.37994914397667
PittSacramento River1945Shasta Dam40.76046312263077, -122.37258787314747
WinthropSacramento River1945Shasta Dam40.77768981597151, -122.21501016231716
Celilo FallsColumbia River1957The Dalles Dam45.657471813085124, -120.95022108849334
RockportWeber River1957Wanship Dam40.764257, -111.390643https://www.ksl.com/article/50243431/utah-ghost-town-reappears-as-a-result-of-drought-
https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/rockport/history/
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