Construction of Gavins Point Dam

Glad you dropped by! This is the story of the construction of Gavins Point Dam which started construction in 1952 and is located just west (upstream) from Yankton, South Dakota. Gavins Point Dam was constructed as part of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program. It was built to try to control the Missouri River from flooding in Yankton and the surrounding area, which was a huge problem.

The dam is named after Gavins Point, which is a bluff along the northern bank of Lewis & Clark Lake named for an early settler. The location was moved (from Gavins Point) downstream along Calumet Bluff because this location offered a shorter span distance and less fill material was needed for dam construction. The dam project kept the original name.

Gavins Point Dam created Lewis & Clark Lake which is a huge recreation area today. I want to thank Megan Hansen who helped greatly in making this film possible. Megan is the Curator of Collections at the Mead Cultural Education Center here in Yankton.

Were you in the area when Gavins Point Dam was being built? Do you have any pictures you would like to share of the construction? Please feel free to comment. I hope you find this short film educational and entertaining! We are Kaye and Scott O’Neal. We own and operate Shore to Shore Realty LLC located in Yankton, South Dakota. We love what we do! We help both Sellers and Buyers in our area and would love to hear from you.