By Sherry Gros July 4, 2021
Dust Bowl Dams -Optimist lake- Dam of Historical Significance. Completed in 1937 (Source: Army Corps of Engineers National Inventory of Dams). Optimist Lake Dam was a Dust Bowl era Dam Built by a Public Works Administration crew of that era. Optimist has a Park attached to the dam because that was the part of the government deal and requirements to get the dam built and paid for by the government. This build was a contract with the Federal Government. It was built to control soil erosion. Although it is surrounded by private land it is not private waters because it fits the criteria for navigable in the US Code of Federal Regulations. Below is a picture of the dust bowl era dam being constructed and the men who constructed it. You have an earthen embankment dam laid with rebar then covered in cement. Today much of the rebar is exposed on Optimist Dam. This Dam was a government project to mitigate soil erosion and protect the land beneath and roads downstream the wash at the time. We have a LOT more water shedding into the area today almost 100 years later. This Lake at Milkhouse Creek is part of the Dog River Watershed and waters of the US flow over about 7 miles of private land and also delivers filtered water across federally protected wetlands belonging to the US Government protected under the Clean Water Act. This is a dam of historical significance and a monument to this area and the United States of America as a symbol of resilience and resolve to rebuild and preserve our Country by the people of the PWA. ALABAMA HELP US SAVE THIS DAM!