History of Lake Wallenpauapck

     The origins of Lake Wallenpaupack go back to the William Penn Estate. In 1793, the Penn Estate transferred the 12,150 acre parcel of land to James Wilson, signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution of the United States in 1787.

 

     At that time the Wallenpaupack River was a beautiful stream with many deep lagoons combined with white-water rapids. The Lenape Indians called the river “the stream of swift and slow moving waters.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

       In 1920, with PPL’s decision to construct a lake and dam for hydro-electric power, the initial step was to purchase over 12,000 acres of property and engineer a 5,700 acre lake bed. Land was purchased from over 100 property owners at an average price of $20.00 per acre.

 

       Farms, barns, houses and other buildings were razed. A cemetery was relocated and trees were cut from the lake bed. Construction began in 1924 with 2,700 men and woman working two years to complete the project. It included a 1,280 foot long concrete dam 70 feet high. The total cost was just over one million dollars.  

 

     There was a wooden pipeline constructed from the dam that used 5 million board feet of Douglas fir lumber that carried the water 3 ½ miles downstream to a generating station.

 

      The Wallenpaupack 44,000 KW power plant was constructed simultaneously with the dam and was put into operation in 1926.

 

    Today, Lake Wallenpaupack is a thriving community with thousands of lakefront and lake rights homes. The lake has 52 miles of shoreline and is 13 ½ miles long.

 

     Just think…the home you may be purchasing was owned by a person that signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States!

 

 

For more information about the History of our region go to: [PoconoHistory.com]