The land where Finnon now fills was at one time a meadow. Owned by either brothers, named Finnon, or an Irishman named Finnan. The 'X' on the 1893 topo map shows the location.
Between 1905 and 1907 the meadow was transformed by the earthen dam built to hold back water used to 'jump start' the electrical generator owned by The American River Electric Company.
The original power plant was purchased by PG&E shortly after the dam's completion. PG&E turned over the 125 acre site to California in 1956 and a restoration project began.
The State owned the property and leased it to a concessionaire until 1997. A restaurant, boats, a dock, and paved road campsites were available. In 1997 the lake acquired a new owner.
The lake's water level began to dwindle due to the dam needing replacement - just wasn't earthquake proof, and the state said it had to go. New water could not be added.
In June of 2011, and thanks to the efforts of Mr. Mark Egbert, the District Manager for the El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts, the dam replacement began.
The State of California approved the use of the new dam. Five years later, November 2017, the water level finally breeched the dam's spillway. First time in over 20 years.
The only water that now flows into Finnon is the runoff of winter's rains. By the end of a summer the water level drops 4 to 5 feet.
It's a nice small lake. Best seen in later winter, early spring when it is full and algae free.
Above photos - L to R, top to bottom:
USGS, 1893; unknown postcard 1897; Calif. State Fish and Game 1956;
Calif. State Fish and Game 1956; unknown 1997; the last four finnonlake.com; and directly above GoDaddy.com.
Below slideshow, video, and YouTube channel - all © finnonlake.com
when and where it is due has always been finnonlake.com's practice. Over the years our photos have been pilfered. Since 1998 the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has been helping.
This video shows the complete dam replacement in just over 8 minutes. It is a compilation of photos over the months of replacement.