A Saturday afternoon parking space alongside the Old No. 9 Highway was a coveted spot in the summer of 1965 as local families often gathered to watch Lake Thunderbird slowly fill up with water. The highway, also known locally as Alameda Street, was gradually being covered with water impounded by a 101-foot high dam.

For weeks, families would walk across the asphalt road with water lapping on both sides. Then, walking turned to wading and then swimming above the old road. Entire communities were uprooted by the lake’s construction. Schools, farms and homes would soon be inundated. We didn’t know we were watching history in the making on those summer evenings. Later, we would swim, ski, fish and drink the lake as it became part of the city’s water supply. Read full article here.