John Woodburn » formed Tannoch Loch in 1895, by building a dam across what was then a marshy field, to hold back water of the Tannoch Burn. Woodburn was a builder and a former Provost of Milngavie, who masterminded the large expansion of Milngavie at the end of the Victorian period, encouraging commuters to settle in the busy industrial town. It is generally assumed that by creating this reserve he was able to stabilise the flow to a hydro-electric plant he had installed downstream in Milngavie. The electricity generated was used to replace gas in providing lighting in Clober Crescent, the south side of Station Road Milngavie, one of his many building projects.

The oldest source of Tannoch burn is water draining from Mugdock Loch » (northwest of Tannoch Loch). On construction of Mugdock Reservoir in the 1850's, this flow was culverted along the west side of Mugdock Road, and augmented by drainage from the northeast. This second source flows through a pipe running east-west below the surface of Mugdock Reservoir, just south of the Measuring Pond.

In 1922, led by Thomas McKinnon of 2, Montrose Gardens, residents established Tannoch Loch Limited to purchase the Loch for 100.

Provost John Woodburn