Bagnell Dam, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Infrastructure Tour and Unit Shaft Pick, September 25-26, 2008


This 30-page 8.5x11 keepsake book was printed to celebrate Bagnell Dam's 75th anniversary in 2006. The author is Carole Tellman Pilkington.
Bagnell Dam Nameplate Plaque.
Bagnell Dam at 4 A.M., shrouded in heavy fog. The lake water is some 80FT above this level on the other side of the dam.

Brian Congiardo, a friend of mine, is a master millwright and a 3rd generation millwright, and was supervising the refurbishment of the generating units at Bagnell Dam. He and his father, Alan Congiardo, own McCloud Metalworks & Industrial Services. The Congiardo family also owns Marcello's Italian Restaurant, 967 State Street, Chester, IL 62233, 618-826-1524. Just in case you are in central IL and need some really good food.

For those that don't know what a millwright does, a millwright today is someone who maintains or constructs industrial machinery and is thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the work from precision assembly to handling extremely heavy components. Those two concepts are not mutually exclusive and most often are part of the same individual activity in a millwright's day. [] wikipedia [] millwright history [].

I was heading to Chigago, and it was just luck that I was in the general area of Bagnell Dam, so that I got invited to see this great piece of machinery. The timing was even more perfect, as the millwrights were going to remove a 60,000 LB shaft from a generating unit. The 75-ton rotor had already been removed and set aside.

Once the shaft pick was completed, I would be priveleged to have a detailed tour of the inside of the dam. This is not trivial, as such tours are no longer given to the public, and indeed this tour, including the insides of the disassembled generating unit itself and other interesting spaces, is an order of magnitude more than the general public would have been shown. I was ready to get dirty!

Shaft Pick

Infrastructure Tour