Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

The St. Francis Dam Break

One dark morning at Powerhouse 2
No one believed what the damkeeper knew
Deep muddy water, churnin' and cold
The St. Francis Dam was ready to blow

The Chief himself drove out to the scene
He said sound no alarm, she's dug in 30 feet
She's strong still an' sturdy, she'll carry the load
An' there's no use disturbin' the folks down below

Caution an' pride and a powerful man
Got lost in the rain that fell down on that dam
And nobody questioned a Mulholland plan

(then) Midnight came an' the ground gave way
To four hundred fifty, cold muddy graves
Phone operators square in the path
Kept calling and calling right up to the last

Tears ran down the face of the dam
While forces below were shifting the land
And nobody questioned a Mulholland plan


Signs he misread
Filling his head
Blame me he pled
An' cried when he said
"I envy the dead"

Twelve billion gallons, a hair raising sight
For two Santa Paula policemen that night
Who sounded their sirens, rode true and brave
There's no way of knowing how many they saved

Caution an' pride and one hell of a man
All came crashing down right along with that dam
Nobody questioned a Mulholland plan

One dark morning at Powerhouse 2
No one believed what the damkeeper knew



John Hutchens


Black Francis


Katy Moffatt


John Bergstrom

Ron Pinkerton

Dan Devere


Film: "Big Surf" by Brian Smee 2017

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