Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
> ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER
Red Cross Soup Kitchen
Newhall, California


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Identified on back of print as Red Cross Kitchen, Newhall. Exact location unknown.

8x10 glossy photograph distributed by NEA (Newspaper Enterprise Assn., which was related to Scripps). File date of March 32, 1928 [sic]. March 1928 only seemed that long.


Construction on the 600-foot-long, 185-foot-high St. Francis Dam started in August 1924. With a 12.5-billion-gallon capacity, the reservoir began to fill with water on March 1, 1926. It was completed two months later.

At 11:57:30 p.m. on March 12, 1928, the dam failed, sending a 180-foot-high wall of water crashing down San Francisquito Canyon. An estimated 411 people lay dead by the time the floodwaters reached the Pacific Ocean south of Ventura 5½ hours later.

It was the second-worst disaster in California history, after the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, in terms of lives lost — and America's worst civil engineering failure of the 20th Century.


LP2805a: 19200 dpi jpeg | Collection of Lauren Parker | Archival scan on file.
RED CROSS RELIEF
St. Francis Dam Disaster Aftermath

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FILM: Red Cross Relief Center, Wreckage

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Newhall Soup Kitchen

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Santa Paula Hospital

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Red Cross Nurses

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Soup Line

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Soup Line

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Medical Care

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Tent Shelter

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