After the Union fleet left the area, what happened to Bailey's Dam? Archaeologists found that much of it was still in place 120 years later. They studied the lower (main) dam in 1984, as part of the Red River Waterway Project. That big federal project stabilized the banks of the Red River. It also built locks and dams to raise the water level for boat traffic. This led to Bailey's Dam being permanently underwater.


     Before that construction began, important historical resources like Bailey's Dam were recorded. By law, federal agencies consider how their projects may affect historic properties. That process led to the study of Bailey's Dam.


     While the river level was low, researchers drew maps, took pictures, and excavated some of the dam. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District, sponsored the work. The photographs and Historic American Engineering Record drawings are now at the U.S. Library of Congress. You can explore some of them here using the map to the right as your guide!

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(Left) Detail from Map and Profile of the Red River Falls, Board of State Engineers, 1874. Courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana.

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