History of Newt Graham Lock and Dam


The nearest town to Newt Graham Lock and Dam 18 is Inola, Oklahoma, established as a post office in 1890.  The name is a Cherokee word meaning “black fox.”

The Port of Catoosa, at the head of the navigation channel, is named for the town of Catoosa, formerly a roisterous cattle shipping point.  It took its name from “Old Catoos,” the rounded hill just west of the town. The word is from the Cherokee expression, “Gi-tu-zi,” meaning “Here live the People of the Light.”  It is said that the “People of the Light” clan formerly met on the summit on the hill.


The Newt Graham Lock and Dam project was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1946, amended by Flood Control Acts of 1948 and 1950.  Construction on the project was started in 1967 and it was essentially completed in 1970 at an estimated cost of $43,400,000.  It was officially opened to navigation on December 30, 1970.