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> ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER
Preparing to Blow Up the Tombstone
San Francisquito Canyon

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Apri l6, 1929 — Workers prepare to dynamite what we call the "tombstone" — the center section of the St. Francis Dam that remained standing after the dam collapsed on the night of March 12, 1928. Note that they're calling it the "gravestone" and "monument" in 1929. The work is being done on the north side where the reservoir was.

Associated Press wire photo, 8x10 inches, from an unknown newpaper archive. The photograph was apparently released as free art (aka wild art), i.e., with an extended caption but with no accompanying Associated Press wire story. For example, it ran as free art in the Daily Capital Journal (Salem, Ore.) on April 20 and in the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) on April 21. Both papers used the term "gravestone" (but not "monument") from the cutline, which reads:

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO — LA711 — CAUTION WITH CREDIT. FROM LOS ANGELES

The "gravestone" of the St. Francis Dam Disaster, the broken remains of the dam, being torn down in the Santa Clara River Valley, California. Two great holes, seen at the bottom of the concrete "monument," will be loaded with dynamite, and the towering relic blown down into a great "grave" being dug for it by steam shovels.

-JH-4/16/29 (MISS.R.WEST) (CX & NY 1 EACH)

Cameras are being set up to record the event; see detail from image below.



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LW3279: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph purchased 2018 by Leon Worden.
END OF THE TOMBSTONE
St. Francis Dam

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Youth Dies from Fall 5/27/1928

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Preparing to Dynamite 4/16/1929

Dam to be Toppled 4/19/1929


Dam Crumbles (Before) 5/30/1929


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