With the closing of Grand Coulee Dam’s gates in 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (or Lake Roosevelt for short) was created.

The waters of the Columbia River behind Grand Coulee rose 380 feet, creating over 600 miles of shoreline. The length of the lake is over 150 miles, extending from Grand Coulee dam to near the Canadian border. The width of the lake generally varies from one half to one mile from the dam to Kettle Falls, which is about 100 river miles. The lake then narrows considerably as it reaches up to Northport and the Canadian border.

The size of Lake Roosevelt, however, only begins to tell the story of a water and land area that is unique in many ways. This section contains a brief overview of how the area’s geography, cultures and economies change and shift from North to South and East to West.