Did you know?

Back in 1923, after the Nor­way Dam was com­plet­ed form­ing Lake Shafer, the Indi­ana Hydro-Elec­tric Com­pa­ny decid­ed to build a sec­ond gen­er­at­ing sta­tion. Con­struc­tion began about 12 miles south on the Oak­dale Dam in the Fall of 1924

Thank good­ness for that deci­sion because Lake Free­man was born. 

Here’s some­thing most peo­ple don’t know, It actu­al­ly wasn’t called Lake Free­man in the begin­ning. It was referred to as Lake Del­phi because of the prox­im­i­ty and access to the build­ing-site from the town of Del­phi. How­ev­er, not every­one in the area thought that was a good idea. As Mark Smith, the his­to­ri­an at the Car­roll Coun­ty His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, put it, There was some dis­agree­ment from the folks in Mon­ti­cel­lo on the name. They named it Lake Tioga.” 

So where did the name Lake Free­man come from? It was actu­al­ly in hon­or of the lead engi­neer on the project, Roger Free­man. Almost a year after the Dam was com­plet­ed the lake was for­mal­ly named Lake Free­man. Seems like a good com­pro­mise. Sure makes a great triv­ia question.

Build­ing a dam is no small task and that was cer­tain­ly the case in 1923. The job called for more than 250 men, four­teen months and two mil­lion dol­lars to com­plete. The men worked sev­en days a week with a night shift to keep on sched­ule. Approx­i­mate­ly 230,000 cubic feet of earth were trucked in from near­by Yeo­man to cre­ate the levy. The Dam itself is over 1200 feet wide and 58 feet tall.

The Dam was offi­cial­ly com­plet­ed in Novem­ber, 1925.

Because of the rig­ors of the job, the men were housed at the job site. Bar­racks were built as well as a com­mis­sary and mess hall. The orig­i­nal mess hall was moved and now serves as a build­ing at the Car­roll Coun­ty Coun­try Club. The area were the men lived and ate is now home to the Oak­dale Dam Inn.

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Pho­tos cour­tesy of the Car­roll Coun­ty His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety.

Lake Freeman Facts

Did you know?

The Madam Carroll has graced Lake Freeman for 40 years.