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Hydroelectric generators at Power House no. 2, 1.5 miles downstream from the location of the failed Saint Francis Dam, San Francisquito Canyon (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 from a ridge towards 2 hydroelectric generators on canyon floor that were formerly inside Power House No. 2. A jet of water rises from between the generators. The generators are still attached to the concrete foundation of the power house; the power house was washed away in the flood following the failure of the Saint Francis Dam. Three men are visible near the generators, and 4 other men are walking next to a fallen concrete pier on the right. A tent is in the lower right corner.
Text from negative sleeve: Saint Francis Dam
b&w nitrate negative
No linguistic content
Saint Francis Dam Failure, Calif., 1928
Hydroelectric generators--California--San Francisquito Canyon
Power plants--California--San Francisquito Canyon
Flood damage--California--San Francisquito Canyon
Los Angeles Times Photographic Collection

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