In 1950 a hydroelectric dam was built on the Dead River. The communities of Flagstaff, Bigelow, and Dead River were flooded and became underwater ghost towns. The communities had fair warning and knew that their homes were going to be submerged. Many people relocated buildings, some homes were burned, and a handful of people held-out and stayed until water rushed down the main streets. The town of Flagstaff had a church, a school, and an established population of lumbermen, blacksmiths, teachers, and farmers. The hydroelectric dam was built to help bring electricity to rural areas of the state.
Ironically the area that surrounds Flagstaff Lake is currently facing a similar imposition with the possibility of the construction of wind turbines on Bigelow Mountain.