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Teams of horses and workers engaged in reconstruction following the failure of the Saint Francis Dam and resulting flood, Santa Clara River Valley (Calif.), 1928
Date Created and/or Issued
March 1928
Publication Information
Los Angeles Times
Contributing Institution
UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library
Los Angeles Times Photographic Archives
Rights Information
Access to this collection is generously supported by Arcadia funds.
The St. Francis Dam was a 200-foot high concrete gravity-arch dam built between 1924 and 1926 in St. Francisquito Canyon (near present-day Castaic and Santa Clarita). The dam collapsed on March 12, 1928 at two and a half minutes before midnight. The resulting flood killed more than 600 residents plus an unknown number of itinerant farm workers camped in San Francisquito Canyon, making it the 2nd greatest loss of life in California after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It is considered the worst American civil engineering failure in the 20th century.
View of boulders and a stretch of the Southern Pacific railroad track in the foreground with reconstruction work beyond with 2 teams of horses pulling equipment and workers.
Text from negative sleeve: Saint Francis Dam
b&w nitrate negative
No linguistic content
Dam failures--California--San Francisquito Canyon
Flood damage--California--Santa Clara River Valley
Railroad tracks--California--Santa Clara River Valley
Saint Francis Dam Failure, Calif., 1928
Los Angeles Times Photographic Collection

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