Reward For Heroism
St. Francis Dam Disaster, San Francisquito Canyon
Silent film star William S. Hart (left) and Presbyterian minister Wolcott Evans (right), both of Newhall, pin a hero's medal
on Luis Rivera, son of saloon keeper Nick Rivera, following the St. Francis Dam disaster of March 12-13, 1928. The dam broke at three minutes before
midnight on March 12th, sending a monumental 180-foot-high wall of water crashing down San Francisquito
Canyon. It didn't stop until it reached the Pacific Ocean and left approximately 470 corpses in its wake.
It was the second-worst disaster in California history, second only to the great San Francisco earthquake and
fire of 1906.
AP0115: jpeg from copy print