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In the 1940's, two federal agencies, the Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps of Engineers, proposed plans to control flooding. In return, the dam would contribute to the generation of hydroelectric power and irrigate land in the basin. These plans merged into what became known as the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Plan.

Construction of the Garrison Dam brought an influx of people from all areas. In July of 1946 the town site of Pick City was platted. The town was named for General Lewis A. Pick of the Corps of Engineers who helped to develop the Pick-Sloan plan. It was organized as a village in 1948.

A café, hotel, bar, grocery store, gas station, pool hall, and hardware store were among the first businesses in the "boom town" to open. Besides the construction workers, the thousands of people who came every year to watch the dam being built brought prosperity to the area.

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