The Ashokan Reservoir was built between 1907 and 1915 to supply water to New York City. The flooding of twelve communities and thousands of acres of farmland sparked long-lasting controversy. The last of the land claims were settled in 1940. Two thousand residents were moved, some of the communities were relocated, others were flooded. The dam was constructed with Rosendale cement. Today trails along the Reservoir provide pleasant walking and biking opportunities.
In 1905 the New York State Legislature enacted legislation to create the New York City Board of Water Supply. The Board had the authority to acquire land and build dams and reservoirs in the Catskill Mountain watershed. At the time it was built, the Ashokan was one of the largest reservoirs in the world. Water from the Esopus Creek and tributaries feed the Ashokan.
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