Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #19

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about the waterfalls in Rochester and also about building the dam near Mount Morris to control flooding of Rochester. He gets one thing wrong, the dam is within Letchworth Park. In 1972 during flooding from a hurricane the water behind the dam came close to overflowing. Still the dam prevented the dangerous flooding that had destroyed downtown Rochester many times before


The total fall in the Genesee River in passing through the City of Rochester is 356 feet including several rapids. there are four water power privileges now utilized; the south of about 17 feet; the upper falls of about 90 feet; the middle falls of about 27 feet; and the lower falls of about 90 feet. Plans are now being made for a concrete dam to be built by the RG&E Corp. at an approximate cost of ten million smackers, across the gorge of the Genesee River at a point along the “high banks” about one mile south of Mount Morris. The proposed dam will be 180 feet high, over 1000 feet long at the top, with a base 600 feet long extending 40 feet into the solid rock. Then building of this dam will create a vast artificial lake over 16 miles long, extending nearly to Letchworth Park. The great flood of 1865 did much damage. Thomas Thackery Swinborne of the Genesee predicted still another flood when he wrote: ” down the vale I’ll thunder with my billows like a gale, and flood thy marts and dash thy bridges down.”