“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oroville in Butte County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Oroville Dam

Oroville Dam Marker image. Click for full size.
By James King, December 8, 2016
1. Oroville Dam Marker
Inscription. In deep appreciation of those who had the foresight to plan, design, and construct the Oroville Dam Project and to those who have been operating and maintaining it for the State Water Project and the people of California.

Since its inception, the Oroville complex has controlled numerous floods that would have taken untold lives and cost hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage; supplied water to agriculture and to Californians throughout two-thirds of the state; generated energy to operate the State Water Project; and provide more than 13 million visitor days of recreation.
Dedicated on the twenty-fifth
anniversary of the completion of
Oroville Dam. May 8, 1993

Erected 1993.
Location. 39° 32.519′ N, 121° 29.473′ W. Marker is in Oroville, California, in Butte County. Marker is on Brad Freeman Trail, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. The markers are in the parking area on top of the dam near the spillway gates. Marker is in this post office area: Oroville CA 95965, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Autumn Harvest (approx. 1.4 miles away); Long's Bar (approx. 1.8 miles
Oroville Dam Statistics image. Click for full size.
By James King, December 8, 2016
2. Oroville Dam Statistics
Crest Length - 6,920 feet
Height Above Lowest Foundation - 770 feet
Volume of Embankment - 80,000,000 cubic yards
Storage Capacity - 3,537,580 acre feet
Area - 15,800 acres
Shoreline - 167 miles
Completed - October 6, 1967
away); Morris Ravine School (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Mother Orange Tree of Butte County (approx. 2 miles away); Bidwell's Bar (approx. 2 miles away); Bidwell Bar Bridge and Tollhouse (approx. 2 miles away); a different marker also named Mother Orange Tree of Butte County (approx. 2.2 miles away); Northern California's Oldest Citrus Tree (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oroville.
Regarding Oroville Dam. In light of the events of February 2017, it makes one wonder about the foresight and planning that resulted in a concrete spillway channel built without re-bar and an auxiliary spillway that simply runs over a concrete wall and then down the unsupported and unprotected soil of the mountainside. It also gives one pause to know that these deficiencies were known to the operators and could have been corrected before the near-disaster of February 2017.
Also see . . .
1. Historic Photos of the Building of Oroville Dam. (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by James King of San Miguel, California.)
2. Officials Ignored Warnings 12 Years Ago. "More than
A Sackful of Sand and Gravel image. Click for full size.
By James King, December 8, 2016
3. A Sackful of Sand and Gravel
To mark the significance of the
for the entire
a sackful of sand and gravel
from each of the counties
was used in the first concrete
placed in the core of
Symbolic contributions
came from the
Alameda • Alpine • Amador • Butte • Calaveras • Colusa • Contra Costa • Del Norte • El Dorado • Fresno • Glenn • Humboldt • Imperial • Inyo • Kern • Kings • Lake • Lassen • Los Angeles • Madera • Marin • Mariposa • Mendocino • Merced • Modoc • Mono • Monterey • Napa • Nevada • Orange • Placer • Plumas • Riverside • Sacramento • San Benito • San Bernardino • San Diego • San Francisco • San Joaquin • San Luis Obispo • San Mateo • Santa Barbara • Santa Clara • Santa Cruz • Shasta • Sierra • Siskiyou • Solano • Sonoma • Stanislaus • Sutter • Tehama • Trinity • Tulare • Tuolumne • Ventura • Yolo • Yuba
State of California
Department of Water Resources
a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California’s largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 185,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe."
"FERC rejected that request, however, after the state Department of Water Resources, and the water agencies that would likely have had to pay the bill for the upgrades, said they were unnecessary."
(Submitted on February 19, 2017, by James King of San Miguel, California.) 

3. The Oroville Dam Train Tunnel Collision. "What exactly caused the accident will never be known. All who would know perished in the collision." (Submitted on February 19, 2017, by James King of San Miguel, California.) 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
Memorial to Those Who Died During Construction image. Click for full size.
By James King, December 8, 2016
4. Memorial to Those Who Died During Construction
These men came from far and near to build this great dam across the mighty Feather River. Many a time it has been said, by those working on a project such as this, "If something happens to me on this job, just put my name up there somewhere." Well, that is what we have done, on this spot, to honor these men who died building the Oroville Dam Project, 1957 - 1968.

Harry K. Phoenix • Donald E. Good
Wallace F. Read • Larry D. Patton
Raymond L. Neal • Benjamin H. Stamps, Jr.
Donald L. McKnight • Walter R. Padia
Robert W. Pike • George C. Boates
Joseph F. Pickney • Frank A. Jordine, Sr.
Lowell E. Riggs • Anthony P. Hengel
Alford F. Harvey • Buel L. Conley
Bennie Bush • Chester J. Zurek
Robert A. Arnold • J. Etcyl Mackey
Herman V. Bonham • Joe Weber
Frank P. Arbuckle • Orlin S. Campney
Elmer D. Bidwell • Harold W. Cholcher
Fred L. Woolard • Paul J. Callahan
Eino Abel Steph • Melvin J. Hudson
Charles Akins • Ernest A. Leitner
Fredrick G. Dunkel • Frazer "Slim" Higgins

Presented by
Men Who Built Oroville Dam, Department of Water Resources and Sacramento Valley Construction Unions
May 2001
More Dam Statistics image. Click for full size.
By James King, December 8, 2016
5. More Dam Statistics
Oroville Features
Oroville Dam
Type --Earth Fill
Height--770 feet
Volume--80,000,000 cubic yards
Crest Length--6920 feet
Base Width--3500 feet
Spillway Capacity--650,000 cubic feet per second
Oroville Reservoir
Capacity--3,484,000 acre feet
Area--15,500 acres
Shoreline--167 miles
Recreation Areas---Number--11
---Area--4154 acres
Oroville Power Plant
Capacity--615,000 kilowatts
Turbine Generator Units--3
Reversible Pump Turbine Units--3
Annual Output--2,191,000,000 kilowatt hours
All The Dam Markers image. Click for full size.
By James King, December 8, 2016
6. All The Dam Markers
Credits. This page was last revised on July 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 19, 2017, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 286 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 19, 2017, by James King of San Miguel, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the dam. • Clear readable photo of - "More Dam Statistics" • Clear readable photo of - "A Sackful of Sand and Gravel" • • Can you help?
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