Rugg Pond Dam

Rugg Pond Dam

In 1904, Ambrose E. Palmer founded the Kalkaska Light and Power Company and built a dam and power plant at Rugg Pond where the two branches of the Rapid River meet. Palmer reportedly commissioned farmers to bring wagonloads of stone to the pond to construct the foundation of the dam. This plant supplied electricity to the village of Kalkaska and surrounding areas. The pond was named for R. F. Rugg, a prominent local businessman. According to legend, Ernest Hemingway spent a night fishing from the Rugg Pond Dam powerhouse.
photo of Rugg Pond Dam

Side 2

In 1950, Consumers Power Company purchased the former Kalkaska Light and Power Company hydroelectric plant, located at Rugg Pond Dam. Consumers Power sold the dam to Kalkaska County for one dollar in 1953. In 1980 the Army Corp. of Engineers condemned the dam. Two years later concerned citizens formed Save Rugg Pond Natural Area to restore the dam and preserve the area. Local contributions, grants and moneys from the Kammer Land & Trust Fund have been used to maintain this scenic area.

Registered Site L1158
Erected 1990

Location: Valley Rd north of Hansen Road
Rapid River Twp, Kalkaska County

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Latitude: 44.7821701, Longitude: -85.2003908

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