|O'Shaughnessy Dam, taken from the west side of the Scioto River, Dublin, Ohio, May 2011|
My regular readers know I live in a ramshackle limestone and cedar house built in 1927 on four acres along the Scioto River, named "Willow Manor" by the original owners. The Scioto (pronounced SY-oh-toh or SY-oh-tah) is over 230 miles long and rises in Auglaize County, passes through Columbus, Ohio, where it picks up its largest tributary, the Olentangy River, meeting the Ohio River at Portsmouth.
Willow Manor is situated down stream from the dam, so at certain dryer seasons of the year, the Scioto is relatively shallow. This time of year, it runs full and deep, making a lovely rushing sound, swollen from the spring rains. I miss the summer jars of tadpoles, crawdads and frogs the kids would collect and deposit in their rooms. I should go down and find a crawdad or two, for old time's sake.
Three miles north of Willow Manor is the O'Shaughnessy Dam, which forms the O'Shaughnessy Reservoir, a major source of drinking water for Columbus. It was completed in 1925 under the supervision of Jerry O'Shaughnessy, for whom the dam was named. At the time, the reservoir was described as the finest inland waterway in the United States, covering a surface of 845 acres. I hope Mr. O'Shaughnessy's structure hold's tight for many years to come, since I don't fancy riding Willow Manor down the Ohio to the Mississippi any time soon.