The dam was a showpiece for visitors to the National Capital and an important social venue for the population of an emerging inland city. To my memory our families picnicked, swam, and barbecued and as we became adults the Cotter Tavern became an occasional haunt. The Cotter Tavern unfortunately burnt down as a firestorm swept through the area during the 2003 Canberra bushfires.
Before the video here is a clipping from the Sydney Morning Herald in which Prime Minister Billy Hughes (1862-1952)(bio) is quoted expounding the virtues of the area whilst inspecting the dam in 1922. He saw a big future...
The Sydney Morning Herald - 9 March 1922
National Library of Australia (here)
And the video from the ACTEW corporation:
"Reflections in The Cotter"
COTTER RECREATIONAL AREA MAP
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