Program: Dedication of California Historical Landmark No. 919
St. Francis Dam Disaster Site.

Official description California Historical Landmark No. 919, from California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation:

NO. 919 ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER SITE - The 185-foot concrete St. Francis Dam, part of the Los Angeles aqueduct system, stood a mile and a half north of this spot. On March 12, 1928, just before midnight, it collapsed and sent over twelve billion gallons of water roaring down the valley of the Santa Clara River. Over 450 lives were lost in this, one of California's greatest disasters.

Location: San Francisquito Power Plant No. 2, 32300 N San Francisquito Canyon Rd., 9.2 mi N of Saugus

St. Francis Dam

California Registered Historical Landmark

No. 919

Dedicated May 21, 1978

St. Francis Dam Site

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 Streambed, impounding a 610 surface-acre lake.

At 11:57½ 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 5½ hours that it took the released water to travel 54 miles down the Santa Clara River Valley to the sea at Ventura.


Arrival of Stagecoach

Denzil Cameron and six-horse Concord coach

Presentation of the colors

Bill Hart District, Boy Scouts of America by Troop 603


Mimi White, President SCVHS

Introduction of special guests

Charles F. Outland, author of Man-Made Disaster

Gerald G. Reynolds, curator & historian

Background of disaster

Gerald G. Reynolds

Introduction of survivors and relatives

Linda Ruiz Cullen

Irene Ruiz McKibben

Rosemary Ruiz

Thornton Edwards, former member of California Highway Patrol, whose heroic action during the flood saved many lives

Recognition of supportive agencies

Representing the Los Angeles County Fire Dept.

Chief Engineer Clyde Bragdon Jr.

Representing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.

Captain William Fairchild, Santa Clarita Valley Station

Representing the California Highway Patrol

Lt. John O'Brien, Newhall Station

Representing the U.S. Forest Service

District Ranger David Kohut, Saugus District Angeles National Forest

Delivery of plaque

Paul Sloane, 2nd Vice President, SCVHS

Gerald G. Reynolds

Placement of plaque

Mimi White, SCVHS, Betty Pember, Landmark Chairman, Captain William Smith, Supt. of Camp Four, Los Angeles County Fire Dept., Raymond Guardad, Assistant District Fire Management Officer, Saugus District, U.S. Forest Service

Placerita Junior High School Band

Andy Downs, Director


Plaque dedication committee:

Arthur W. Evans, chairman

Betty Pember

Paul Sloane

Jerry Reynolds

Dorothy Riley

Don Ray and Denise Ptolemy — publicity

Jerry Reynolds — drawing of dam on front cover

Paul G. Sloane of PGS Graphics, for making the plaque and printing the programs

Bill Smith and boys at County Fire Station 4,

for construction of the monument and preparation of the site.

Ray Guardado and the U.S. Forest Service crew from CETA

Placerita Jr. High Band members, and director Andy Downs

Scouts of Troop 603, Bill Hart District, and their Sponsor, Leona Cox P.T.A.

Jerry Barnes
David Beaver
James Card
Paul Guggenheimer
John Riggen
Mike Riggen
Mike Rompal
Roger Stohs
Tom Thornbill
Raymond J. Guardado


Scoutmaster: Wolfgang Stohs

Assistant Scoutmaster: John Mann Jr.

Public Address System:

Courtesy of Michael Shuman and Placerita Jr. High, and handled by Cynthia Neal-Harris, First Vice President, SCVHS

Terry D. Fortin, Plant Manager of PPG Industries (formerly Fortin Plastics) for Plexiglas covering for the plaque

L.A. County Sheriff Explorers, Directing parking and crowd assistance

Denzil Cameron of Cameron movie ranch and William Graham of Triple A Ranch for Horses and stagecoach

And the many members of SCVHS and friends who helped plan and organize this event

Download individual pages here. SCVHS collection.
& State Landmark 1978/79


Dinner 3/12/1978


Survivors Reunion (VC Star)


Dedication Ceremony Program 5/21/1978


News Reports: Plaque Placed, Stolen, Replaced 1978/79

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