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Friday, December 14, 2007

Canonsburg Lake

Canonsburg Lake
(Photo taken by Ron Ross of Canonsburg)

Fall foilage at Canonsburg Lake, with unidentified fishermen
(Photo by Paulet Lang of Canonsburg)

Canonsburg Lake is a 76-acre impoundment created from a dam located on Little Chartiers Creek. Water from the lake flows over the dam's spillway, then continues north for approximately ¼ mile where it meets the main branch of Chartiers Creek. Chartiers Creek continues for approximately 25 miles until it meet the Ohio River in McKees Rocks.

The lake was created by a 525 feet long and 45 feet high dam constructed by the Alcoa Corporation in 1943.   The lake was created as an industrial water supply for an Alcoa forging plant located in the East End of Canonsburg where Standard Tin Plate previously had been.   

Alcoa's forging plant was a wartime industry to forge airplane propellers, but the war ended before the plant got into full production.   The facility closed, and Pennsylvania Transformer and RCA followed them at the location.   A small structure built immediately below the dam to house the pumps that transported water to the forging plant remains on site today.

The Commonwealth, acting through the Fish and Boat Commission, acquired the lake, dam and adjacent property in 1958 for public fishing and boating.