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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

St. Francis Dam Disaster Site

 
 
St. Francis Dam Marker Site image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 8, 2019
1. St. Francis Dam Marker Site
Inscription.  On this site in August of 1924 construction started on the St. Francis Dam, a unit of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. When it was completed in May of 1926, this concrete dam stood 185 feet above the stream bed, impounding a 610 surface-acre lake.

At 11:57 1/2 P.M. March 12, 1928, the dam collapsed causing the second greatest disaster in the state of California. At least 425 lives were lost in the 3 1/2 hours that it took the released water to travel 54 miles down the Santa Clara River Valley to the sea at Ventura.

This plaque placed by Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society March 12, 1978 (State Historical Status Pending)
 
Erected 1978 by Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.
 
Location. Marker has been reported missing. It was located near 34° 32.814′ N, 118° 30.867′ W. Marker was near Santa Clarita, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker could be reached from San Francisquito Canyon Road 0.3 miles south of San Francisquito Motorway. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 32300 San Francisquito Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita CA 91390, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8
St. Francis Dam Marker image. Click for full size.
By The Signal newspaper, May 21, 1978
2. St. Francis Dam Marker
Marker dedication ceremony, to mark the 50th anniversary of the disaster. The ceremony was postponed from March 12 because of storm damage to the road.
other markers are within 11 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named St. Francis Dam Disaster Site (approx. one mile away); St. Francis Dam (approx. 1.1 miles away); Power Plant No. 1 (approx. 4.4 miles away); Tesoro Adobe (approx. 5.6 miles away); The Ridge Route (approx. 8.7 miles away); Rancho San Francisco (approx. 9 miles away); Oak of the Golden Dream (approx. 9.1 miles away); Butterfield Overland Mail (approx. 10.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Clarita.
 
More about this marker. The marker was stolen in 1978, soon after it was installed.

The stone monument is southwest of the dam site on a remote ridge with no maintained trail to the site.

This marker was replaced in 1979 with California Historical Landmark No. 919, located 1.5 miles south of the dam site, at Power Plant 2, behind a chain-link fence.

This was America's worst civil engineering failure of the 20th Century.

On March 12, 2019, the Saint Francis Dam Disaster National Monument was established. Fundraising is underway to build a visitor center at the site.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. — St. Francis Dam disaster sites.
 
Also see . . .  St. Francis Dam Disaster. (Submitted on September 10, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.)
 
Categories. DisastersIndustry & CommerceMan-Made Features
 
St. Francis Dam Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 8, 2019
3. St. Francis Dam Ruins
Near a section of the canyon road that is now abandoned due to repeated storm damage.
Sections of the Dam image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 8, 2019
4. Sections of the Dam
Large sections of the dam washed down the canyon during the flood. This view is from the canyon road, 0.2 miles south of the dam site.
Wing Dike Ruins image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 8, 2019
5. Wing Dike Ruins
558-foot-long wing dike along the ridge west of the dam. Most of the remains were dynamited after the disaster.
Today’s Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, September 8, 2019
6. Today’s Marker
1.5 miles south of the dam site.
St. Francis Dam image. Click for full size.
1927
7. St. Francis Dam
St. Francis Dam image. Click for full size.
1928
8. St. Francis Dam
After the flood, the center section and wing dike are still standing.
 

More. Search the internet for St. Francis Dam Disaster Site.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 10, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Last updated on September 11, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 10, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   7, 8. submitted on September 11, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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