Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER
St. Francis Dam Under Construction
San Francisquito Canyon

St. Francis Dam under constrution, ~1924.

Seven miles up San Francisquito Canyon Road from today's Copper Hill Drive, construction on the 700-foot-long, 205-foot-high St. Francis Dam started in August 1924. With a 12.5 billion-gallon capacity, the reservoir began to fill with water on March 1, 1926. It was completed two months later.

At 11:57:30 p.m. on March 12, 1928, the dam failed, sending a 180-foot-high wall of water crashing down San Francisquito Canyon. An estimated 431 people lay dead by the time the floodwaters reached the Pacific Ocean south of Ventura 5½ hours later.

It was the second-worst disaster in California history, after the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, in terms of lives lost — and America's worst civil engineering failure of the 20th Century.


AP2329: 9600 dpi jpeg from BW negative.
ST. FRANCIS DAM CONSTRUCTION

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Powerhouse 2 Construction Camp

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FILM: St. Francis Under Construction in "The Temptress" (MGM 1926)

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~1924

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Correspondence 1920

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