The future of the valley of the upper Allegheny River was predetermined in the 1930s with talks of flood control. As time drew nearer for construction of Kinzua Dam, even the last protesters conceded their world was doomed. It was not the end of the world, but it was the end of their world, their way of life--for how can you infuse hope into the spirit of man when all is ordained to be taken from him? To those who intimately knew these times, perhaps the valleys are better known by what is gone than by what remains today. True, the past cannot be captured, but we may forever ponder the times lost--villages abandoned; farms without green fields; trees cleared and burned, as the fires set by the Corps rid the valleys and remote hamlets of the residue of human life.
For centuries the Allegheny hills acted as stewards guarding, perhaps falsely, the destiny of the inhabitants. Kinzua Dam held back the Allegheny River as everyone and everything previously known vanished beneath it. As some witnessed the extinction of a valley, others marveled at the engineering of a great dam--for as Cornplanter discerned--"upon the eternal scroll, time writes the passing."