The Mount Morris Dam

The Mount Morris Dam is the largest concrete dam east of the Mississippi River. It was built for the sole purpose of flood control, particularly to protect the city of Rochester from a flooded Genesee River.


Mount Morris Dam.jpeg

Flooded lands along the Mt. Morris "flats" looking East from the village, 1916. (person unknown). Courtesy of the Office of the Livingston County Historian.

"Moscow Landing" (near the old Genesee Valley Canal), Jones Bridge Road, Town of Leicester, c. 1940. Courtesy of the Office of the Livingston County Historian.

Before the dam was completed in 1952, the Genesee River caused massive flooding and property damage, especially during the spring months with melting snow and high amounts of rain. The pictures featured here should give you a good perspective on how high the water in Livingston County towns on the banks of the river. When the Army Corps of Engineers finally completed the dam, there was most likely a sense of relief for Livingston County residents who lived downstream from the Mount Morris Dam. The dam offered protection and peace of mind.

Today the Army Corps of Engineers continues to maintain the Mount Morris Dam and its reservoir, as well as runs a tours and a small museum for visitors.

As an article written in the Times Union newspaper indicates, the building of the Mount Morris Dam in 1952 was met with great admiration and a sense of achievement. Today, however, Dam removal projects have come popular across the county because of legitimate concerns that dams have adverse effects on rivers such as reduced water levels, altered water temperature, and decreased oxygen levels.