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Lake Tapps History-Photos

Lake Tapps was created in the early 1900s. Dikes were built around four area lakes; Lake Kirtley, Lake Crawford, Church Lake and Lake Tapps.
A diversion dam was built near Buckley to allow water from the White River to flow through a flume for miles to Printz Basin  near Inlet Island, and then into Lake Tapps.

Lake Tapps is utilized by the Army Corp of Engineers to help with overflow and flood control throughout the area.  This is one of the reasons the lake is drawn-down each winter.  Allowing excess water to flow into the lake helps to prevent additional flooding downstream.

This Photo Gallery, from the 2002 winter draw-down shows photos of a historically low draw-down at Lake Tapps, which included dike and dam repairs.
Chuck Burton, a Lake Tapps resident and historian, was my delightful tour guide for the day.

Chuck Burton, Lake Tapps Historian and guide for the day
Lake bed nearly empty
Looking towards bridge and outlet, standing on top of flume
Looking toward outlet, standing under bridge and on top of flume
Outlet to what once was electric producing turbines owned by PSE
Chuck Burton standing on top of flume. Unseen from bridge
Standing on flume looking towards workers on dam
Chuck Burton walking towards old saw mill on the western shores of Tacoma Point
Peeled bark pill from saw mill
Burnt remains of old saw mill
Remains at saw mill
Original lake level measuring