This is a photo looking across Manly Dam. Originally opened in 1892, the reservoir this dam created was built to supply fresh water to the then village of Manly. It had an original height of 11 metres and a length of 85 metres.
As Manly’s population grew so did the demand for water, so the dam was raised in 1909, 1922 and 1935 to the size it is today at a height of 19 metres and a length of 250 metres. This was to supply not only Manly but surrounding suburbs such as Seaforth, Balgowlah and up the coast as far as Mona Vale.
By 1929 the population in the region had outgrown the dam’s capacity. It began to be phased out and water was instead sourced from Pymble Reservoir from 1930. Though it was temporarily used as a backup water supply in 1942 due to a long term drought, but only for 10 months.
After WWI the area including the dam became the War Memorial Park and recreational area that it is today.
An interesting fact about the dam is that during WWII it was fortified, complete with machine guns and barbed wire!
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.