A man-made lake some ten miles in length, furnishes a controlled and dependable supply of water for the Tacoma hydroelectric plant. Early in the 1920s the citizens of Tacoma, led by Homer T. Bone and other champions of public ownership of power, took the legal steps necessary as a preliminary to the construction of this municipally owned project.
Two dams, 275 and 240 feet in height respectively, were built across the North Fork of the Skokomish River, thus creating Lake Cushman; a large power plant was erected at the lower end of the lake and another near Hood Canal, at Potlatch State Park. Both Cushman powerhouses are listed in the National Register and are available for tours. Vehicular access is limited. Today Tacoma claims a lower average electricity rate than any other city in the United States.