The Hume Lake Dam is the first reinforced-concrete, multiple arch dam in the world, and was built to create a millpond for the Hume-Bennett Lumber Co. It is located in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the southern Sierra Nevada.
Construction of the dam began on August 18, 1908, and was finished in November 1908. The Hume Lake was filled to its 1,411-acre capacity by June 1909. The dam is 677’ long and encompasses twelve 61' high arches. Each arch has an individual span of 50 feet with an accompany buttress that tapers on the dam’s downstream side. Originally a railroad tramway ran on top of the dam and the Hume-Bennett lumber mill was on the downstream side of the dam.
The original mill burned down in 1917 and a smaller temporary mill was built on the site and ran until the 1920s. In 1935, the Forest Service acquired the dam and all of the Hume-Bennett land holdings. The site has been subtly modified, including closing the spillway openings on the central arches in 1942, concrete reinforcing on both the upstream in 1954 and downstream in 1984, and the raising of parapet wing-walls on the outer arches during the 1954 rehabilitation. Original outlet and inlets were replaced during these construction periods.