Old Marcus

Though the original town of Marcus has lain below the waters of Lake Roosevelt for 60 Years, it is not forgotten. Many a Spring, as the lake is drawn down to generate power, the ghost town of Marcus is again visible. Sidewalks and streets and foundations rise from the water for a few days or weeks, reminding us all of Marcus and the other drowned towns of the upper Columbia.

This happened this Spring and we decided to walk out on the exposed lake bottom to see what we could see. We walked the flats on Sunday the 16th of April, 2023. Vast expanses of sand, mud and rocks are being exposed by a deep reservoir drawdown to make room for runoff from snow from surrounding mountains.

As the Grand Coulee Dam grew higher in the 1930s, the water of the Columbia River rose behind it. 150 miles of the free-flowing river was transformed into the placid Lake Roosevelt, drowning hundreds of acres of timber, farmland, Indian villages, and camas meadows. Also below the waters of Lake Roosevelt lie eleven little agricultural towns with names like Peach, Inchelium, and this town, Marcus, Washington.

Lake Roosevelt is a working reservoir. It is the main storage reservoir on the Columbia River for the United States. The reservoir is lowered in the spring, to make room for the spring runoff. This prevents flooding on the lower Columbia River. The water that enters Lake Roosevelt during the spring is stored in the lake and is used later in the year for power generation and to enhance river flows downstream for endangered species of fish when flows on the Columbia River drop later in the summer and fall.

Walking the old sidewalks that are covered by the lake most of the year.

Main Street Old Town Marcus!


Back to the cars and on to lunch.

Here’s what the lake looks like when it is full.

Happy Tuesday. We are looking forward to a major warm-up the rest of the week. I’m going to have to mow the lawn before the week is over.


About Ellenhttps://happywonderer.com/I am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

7 thoughts on “Old Marcus

  1. How special is that…to walk on the Main Street of Marcus! An interesting piece of history. Beautiful pic’s!

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