March 1913 – The most disastrous flood in Ohio history claims nearly 500 lives after dumping more than 8 inches of rain in four days. In the Muskingum Watershed area, 11 died and property damage was estimated at nearly $9 million.
February 1914 – The Ohio Conservancy Act becomes effective after approval by the General Assembly, providing the legal framework for the creation of conservancy districts in Ohio.
January 1927 – Zanesville Chamber of Commerce announces plans to establish a conservancy district in the Muskingum River Watershed region. Bryce C. Browning is appointed manager of the Chamber of Commerce later that year.
January 1928 – A contract with Dayton-Morgan Engineering Company is signed with Arthur E. Morgan participating in the design of the MWCD system of dams. Morgan previously designed the Miami Conservancy District dams in southwest Ohio and would later be selected by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to become the first chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
June 1933 – Conservancy Court approves the formation of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and appoints a Board of Directors. A few days later, Browning is appointed secretary of the Board and Morgan is appointed chief engineer.
August 1933 – An Official Plan for Flood Prevention and Water Conservation in the watershed is approved by MWCD Board of Directors.
December 1933 – The federal government approves a grant of more than $22 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for projects in the MWCD, along with a loan of $500,000 to the MWCD.
April 1934 – Ohio General Assembly approves relocation of highways as needed in the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District region and provides $2 million to assist the MWCD.
January 1935 – Construction begins on Tappan Dam, the first project. By the end of 1938, the construction of 13 earthen dams and one concrete dam (Dover Dam) was completed.
August 1935 – Heavy rainfall over the entire Muskingum River Basin with unusually intensive precipitation over the central part, where more than 8 inches of rain fell over an area of 400 square miles during a 12-hour period on August 6-7, 1935, resulted in the largest general summer flood known in this basin. On the smaller streams in the region of intensive precipitation the flood was the greatest of record. On the larger streams the flood was generally exceeded by that of March 1913, and on the lower Muskingum River it was exceeded by four known floods, none of which, however, occurred during the summer.
August 1939 – The Federal Flood Control Act of 1939 is approved, transferring operation of the dams in the MWCD system to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
July 1940 – Board of Directors approves lease of its 10 lakes to the state of Ohio for public fishing, hunting, and trapping.
December 1942 – Board of Directors approves a policy for improving the forestry and timber services programs of the district, setting in motion a program that eventually leads to the planting of millions of trees as a renewable resource.
April 1950 – Ten of the reservoirs are brought to their conservation pool levels, creating lakes for public use.
January 1961 – Lowering of lake levels during winter months established as a policy by the MWCD and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
May 1965 – MWCD opens the $2.2 million Atwood Lake Resort. Resort operations would eventually grow to include a 104-room lodge and conference center, 17 four-bedroom vacation cabins, an 18-hole golf course, a lighted nine-hole par-3 golf course, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, ski slope and snow maker, airfield and helicopter pad, five tennis courts, and a lounge and restaurant that is situated on more than 300 acres overlooking Atwood Lake.
December 1965 – Bryce Browning retires as secretary-treasurer and is succeeded by Raymond E. Eichel. Eichel previously served in the accounting department.
July 1969 – Thunderstorms over a two-day period (July 4 and 5) result in 4 to 10 inches of rain over the region causing damage totaling $4.6 million and 21 deaths. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates $45 million in damage and a large number of lives were saved because of the MWCD flood-protection system.
August 1989 – Raymond Eichel retires as secretary-treasurer and the Board of Directors appoints John M. Hoopingarner in his place. Hoopingarner had served as legal counsel to the district of 10 years.
June 1994 – Conservancy Court appoints two additional members to the Board of Directors, expanding the number of board members to five after the passage of Ohio House Bill 450.
1998 – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes a detailed review and inspection of the state of the dams in the MWCD system. Study results found that the 80-year-old dam system was in major need of upgrades to preserve the function and integrity of future operations. The total cost of the maintenance of the flood reduction system is projected at $600 million. The Federal Government will allocate 75 percent of the total cost. MWCD is identified as a local cost-share sponsor, responsible for approximately 25 percent of the total cost.
June 2003 – Conservancy Court approves a petition filed by the Board of Directors requesting a readjustment of the appraisal of benefits accruing from the flood-reduction system. This would provide an equitable basis for the levy of a maintenance assessment in accordance with Ohio law.
December 2004 – MWCD receives a $3.8 million planning loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority to prepare a plan for the collection and use of funds for the maintenance and enhancement of water resources in the district.
January 2005 – Storms drop up to 6.5 inches of rain in the region, quickly swelling reservoirs and setting new levels of retention behind the dams at six locations. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates total potential savings averted by the dams and reservoirs is around $400 million, bringing the total amount prevented since the system’s inception to more than $6 billion.
June 2005 – Conservancy Court recognizes an amendment to the Official Plan approved by the Board of Directors allowing funds to be collected through an assessment of property owners in the Muskingum River Watershed according to Ohio law. The plan serves as a guide to MWCD for its role as the cost-share sponsor with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for maintenance and rehabilitation projects at the dams, and for the needs that exist in the reservoirs and throughout the watershed that have effects on the overall flood-reduction system.
June 2008 – MWCD executes a Project Partnership Agreement with USACE for an Interim Risk Reduction Measure project (IRRM) intended to temporarily address potential sliding concerns with Dover Dam. Specifically, bar anchors, consisting of 3-inch diameter steel bars, are to be driven through 17 foundation drains inside of Dover Dam’s inspection gallery to secure each concrete monolith to bedrock. The project is estimated to cost $1,118,900 with MWCD acting as the non-federal financial partner equal to 3.45% of the total project cost.
March 2009 – Collection of the assessment begins on nearly 500,000 parcels of property within the Muskingum River Watershed, with nearly 96 percent of properties assessed a total of $12 per year.
July 2009 – Board of Directors approve the implementation of the Partners in Watershed Management Grant Program (PWM) to provide financial assistance to local communities, agencies, and groups involved in projects and programs that support the conservation and flood control aspects of the Mission of MWCD.
October 2010 – MWCD closes majority of operations at the Atwood Lake Resort after 45 years of continuous operations due to continual financial losses over the past several years exceeding $1 million in 2009.
July 2011 – MWCD negotiates a lease with Gulfport Energy for Utica Shale Development becoming the largest public entity to lease its lands. MWCD’s lease allows the conservancy district to manage its properties through a partnership with reliable operators, while also maximizing development in a timely manner with a strong emphasis on safety, and environmental and economic responsibility. MWCD leased one reservoir per year for oil and gas development, Leesville, Seneca, and Piedmont, for the next three years.
November 2011 – Safety Assurance Project work on the Dover Dam begins. This work includes installation of multi-strand anchors in the spillway section of Dover Dam that will secure the dam to bedrock. Failure of the Dam would place over 40,000 people at risk and potentially cause economic loss of more than $700 million. The total project cost is estimated at over $60 million, and as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Non-Federal cost-share sponsor, MWCD will provide more than $2 million in funding.
January 2012 – Board of Directors approve the donation of the Atwood Lake Resort and Conference Center and surrounding grounds (over 500 acres) to the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.
September 2013 – Board of Directors approve a $120 million Master Plan designed to serve as a roadmap for the most significant upgrades to MWCD facilities and properties in 50 years. This number would be increased to $130 million by the Board of Directors.
July 2014 – Safety Assurance Project work on the Bolivar Dam begins. The purpose of this work is to address problematic seepage at the dam’s foundation. Failure of the Dam could lead to the failure of the Dover Dam downstream risking over 50,000 lives and more than $690 million in damages. The total project cost is estimated at over $44 million and is cost-shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and MWCD. MWCD will contribute approximately $21 million.
April 2015 – The Dover Dam Safety Assurance Project is complete. Rehabilitation of the Dover Dam consisted of installing multi-strand anchors in the dam and stilling basin, installing a parapet wall on top of the dam, and installing a closure on the left descending abutment as well as riverbank protection immediately downstream of the dam. The total project cost was $60 million. MWCD as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Non-Federal cost-share sponsor, provided 3.45 percent of the funding, or more than $2 million of the total project cost.
September 2015 – Board of Directors reduce the assessment by 50 percent, lowering the amount to a total of $6 per year for most properties.
December 2016 – MWCD acquires nearly 420 acres of the former Atwood Lake Resort golf course from the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.
October 2017 – The Bolivar Dam Safety Assurance Project is complete and is the highest-rated dam in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Lakes and Rivers Division. The Dam has a Dam Safety Action Class rating of 5, which is rare throughout the United States. The Bolivar Dam meets all USACE agency guidelines and is at its lowest risk rating. The total project cost was $109 million. MWCD as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Non-Federal cost-share sponsor, provided more than $21 million of the total project cost.
July 2019 – Board of Directors approve $65 million for a second phase of the MWCD Master Plan.
October 2019 – Safety Assurance Project work on the Mohawk Dam begins. The purpose of this work is to add additional relief wells and expansion of the seepage collection system to address a potential failure mode related to seepage under the dam. The total project cost is estimated at over $9 million and is cost-shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and MWCD. MWCD will contribute over $1 million.
May 2020 – John Hoopingarner retires as executive director/secretary. The Board of Directors appoints Craig W. Butler in his place.
December 2020 – The Zoar Levee Safety Assurance Project begins. The purpose of this work is to construct a seepage interceptor trench along the inboard side of the levee, make modifications to the seepage collection system, and construct a berm. The total project cost is estimated at over $13 million and is cost-shared between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and MWCD. MWCD will contribute over $2 million.
October 2021 – MWCD experiences record breaking year in outdoor recreation following COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in 2020.
December 2021 – The Mohawk Dam Safety Assurance Project is complete. The total project cost was approximately $9 million. MWCD as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Non-Federal cost-share sponsor, provided more than $1 million to the project.
May 2022 – MWCD negotiates a lease for Utica Shale development for about 7,300 acres, the largest land lease to date on MWCD property, at Tappan Lake.
July 2022 – MWCD reaches its 100th Utica Well developed through its robust oil and gas program.