US Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District

Construction of Wolf Creek Dam at Lake CumberlandHistory of Lake Cumberland

Lake Cumberland is located in Wayne, Russell, Pulaski, Clinton, McCreary, Laurel, and Whitley counties in Southeastern Kentucky on the Cumberland River.  The damsite is at river mile 460.9 or about 10 miles southwest of Jamestown, Kentucky.

The Wolf Creek Project was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1938 and the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1946.  Construction of the project, designed and supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began in August 1941.  After a three-year delay caused by World War II, the project was completed for full beneficial use in August 1952.

The dam was completed for flood control operation in 1950.  Three of the six hydroelectric generating units were placed in operation in 1951 and the remaining three in 1952.  Operation of the lake is for the primary purposes of flood control and the production of hydroelectric power.  The cost of the project was approximately $80.4 million.

The dam, powerhouse, and lake are operated and supervised by Corps of Engineers’ personnel under the direction of the District Engineer at Nashville, Tennessee.Overview photograph of the construction of Wolf Creek Dam at Lake CumberlandView of the construction of the sluice gate area at Wolf Creek Dam