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History of Heyburn Lake

Early Day History 

Heyburn Lake was named after the community of Heyburn, a post office from 1911-1922, located near the place where the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad crossed Polecat Creek. The project is located on Creek lands in the former Indian Territory. Many of the towns surrounding the project began as trading posts and developed as settlements as the railroads moved west.

Kelllyville, established in 1893, was named for James E. Kelly, long-time local merchant. Just west of Kellyville are the dance grounds where the Creek and Euchee Indians held their celebrations known as "Bucks" in June and July.

Sapulpa, 11 miles east of Heyburn Lake was named after Chief J.M. Sapulpa, a Creek Indian who came to the area from Alabama and started farming on Rock Creek about 1850. In 1886 the Frisco Railway built to this point, and for a few years Sapulpa was the rail terminus.

With the discovery of oil at the Rick Glenn Pool, which extended to within four miles of Sapulpa, many of the Creek Indians became wealthy. The famous oil field is named for Ida E. Glenn, Creek owner of the land on which the discovery well came in on December 1, 1905. The post office was established at the community of Glenpool in 1908.

As the Frisco extended its route, Bristow began developing. Founded in 1901, the town became noted for the oil and gas which dominated its business life. It was here that Oklahoma's first radio station was established.

History and Development

Heyburn Lake was authorized by Congress in 1946 for flood control and conservation. Construction began in 1948 and was completed in 1950 at a cost of $2,482,000, which included $135,000 for downstream channel improvements on Polecat and Rock creeks completed in 1953.

To accomplish its function, Heyburn Lake has three kinds of storage: flood control, conservation, and inactive storage. Total storage is 55,030 acre-feet. The flood storage portion of the lake has 48,410 acre-feet reserved to store flood waters. This portion remains empty except during times of flood control operation of the project. An acre-foot is enough water to cover one acre to a depth of one foot which amounts to 325,850 gallons. The conservation storage provides 3,800 acre-feet of storage which includes 1,900 acre-feet for water supply and 1,900 acre-feet for sediment reserve. The water supply portion of the storage will yield 1.7 millon gallons a day. The bottom portion or "inactive storage" provides 2,820 acre-feet to contain sediment.

The earth embankment dam is 2,920 feet long, rising 89 feet above the original streambed. The uncontrolled morning-glory type outlet works is a concrete conduit over 8 feet in diameter, with a drop inlet and stilling basin. Three 36-inch gated pipes connected to the drop inlet permit low-flow regulation. A 24-inch outlet pipe is embedded in the structure for municipal water supply connection. An uncontrolled emergency spillway is located in a natural saddle west of the right abutment.