We are fortunate on the summit to have the Donner Summit Historical Society which publishes excellent articles on the history of the summit, including Van Norden Lake, in their newsletter “The Heirloom“. Here are some articles that you should find informative
- Van Norden and the Dam, and Summit Valley Ice; Heirloom #57, page 1; May 2013 – Excellent review of the history of the Summit Valley and the dam
- Van Norden Dam Part II-The Recent History; Heirloom #58, page 6; June 2013 – A review of the current history of the Van Norden dam and lake leading up to the present
The official history of the dam has been documents by the state of California Department of Safety of Dams (DSOD). The record is a public document and is available in Sacramento at the DSOD office. A partial copy of the record is available here (warning this is a large file).
The relevant events in the history of the lake and dam are shown in this timeline.