July 12, 1972 — Los Angeles County Supervisor Warren Dorn and Amean Haddad attend a dedication at the Castaic Reservoir (aka Castaic Lake).
There are a couple of basic things we don't know about this photograph.
For one, if the date on the back is correct, we don't know what they're dedicating. The lake opened for recreational use a month earlier, on June 3, 1972.
Construction and openings happened in phases; the dam was started in 1967 and completed in April 1972. The first part of the hydroelectric plant, a
55,000 kilowatt unit, went into operation in February 1972; the main unit went live in 1973 (which is the actual completion date of the dam and reservoir), while
the sixth and last unit went into service in 1978.
Amean G. and Wydea Haddad
Dorn and Haddad could be unveiling some part of the power plant (note the tank at left), or it could be the formal dedication of the recreational area. One
thing we know for sure: It's not is the renaming ceremony for the "Warren Dorn Recreation Complex at Castaic Lake." That happened Jan. 13, 1986.
The second thing we don't know is Haddad's involvement — although it's likely that he owned some farmland that the Department of Water and Power purchased
for the reservoir or power plant. (Note: Much, but not all, of the land that became Castaic Lake had been property of the Cordova family, going back to native American days.)
What we do know is that Amean George Haddad was born on April 2, 1902, in Syria, and emigrated in 1920 to Los Angeles. By 1930 he was married to
Wydea Mary Haddad (b. March 25, 1908) and was employed as a fruit vendor. By 1940 he was into wholesale produce, and by the end of World War II he was involved
in Haddad Bros. Farms, which operated a packing plant
in Edison, Calif., about 7.5 miles east-southeast of Bakerfield. On April 1, 1960, he incorporated Haddad Farms Inc., aka A.G. Haddad Farms, a fruit packing company
in Edison. The corporation was headquartered in Encino, where he lived. By 1990 it was A.G. Haddad & Sons Farms Inc.
In the late 1940s, the Haddad family donated land for the construction of what became St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Cathedral at 2308 W. 3rd Street in Los Angeles. (The donated land
was in a different location and was converted to cash.) Amean G. Haddad served as the parish council president in 1952-1953 and 1958.
Then in the 1960s, Haddad and five relatives sold land in the slippery hills where Newhall meets Canyon Country for about $2 million to developers who would build the Princess housing subdivision.
Amean Haddad died at age 90 on Oct. 6, 1992. Wydea died Dec. 26, 1999. The two are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.