Reclaiming Ohi:yo'- Restoring the Altered Landscape of the Beautiful River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Constructing Kinzua Dam involved much more than the dam itself. The take area for the Allegheny Reservoir was land that fell below the 1365 elevation line.

Our Seneca people living on the Seneca Nation's Allegany Territory were not the only Seneca people directly affected by building the dam. The Cornplanter Grant located in Pennsylvania was also inundated, leaving Chief Cornplanter's heirs without their communities, their homes, and their land.

In addition to directly affecting our Seneca people, the take area also included seven non-Native communities, such as the village of Corydon. Residents of those communities were also forced to relocate. 

The Army Corps of Engineers was involved in the planning, building, and operating of Kinzua Dam. Today the Army Corps is still in charge of the dam's operations. For more information on the history of the plan to build Kinzua Dam see here. For more information on the Kinzua Dam, view the Kinzua Dam Project page.

Constructing Kinzua Dam

On April 14th, 1958 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began preparing our land for construction of Kinzua Dam after the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rules that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could take our land to build the dam.

Actual construction of the dam began in October of 1960.  

For more information on the events of the relocation of our Seneca communities from our Allegany Territory, visit the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum or the Additional Resources page. 

Army Corps of Engineers and Resettlement

Between April and September of 1961, the Army Corps surveyed and mapped our lands. This survey was to map the flowage and clearing easements of the Allegheny Reservoir. From this survey, the Army Corps drew up maps of our land that they were taking for the reservoir and of the proposed resettlement areas, Jimersontown and Steamburg.

In May of 1961 the Army Corps and the Seneca Nation began negotiating the individual land owner boundaries of those maps.

The Army Corps of Engineers Stance on Kinzua Dam

The following is an official publication of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding their stance on Kinzua Dam and the Allegheny Reservoir. It was published in October of 1963, three years after construction of the dam had begun.


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