Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

St. Francis Dam Disaster.
New York Times (newspaper),
New York, New York.

Thursday, March 15, 1928.

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Quicksand in San Francisquito
Canyon Hampers Searchers
—Toll May Reach 400


Community Leaders, Starting
Rehabilitation, Blame City
for Dam Construction.


Special to The New York Times.
     LOS ANGELES, Cal., March 14.--Beds of quicksand encountered in the Santa Clara River bed and the San Francisquito Canyon are reported tonight as hampering work of the army of men searching for the unrecovered dead victims of the St. Francis Dam break early yesterday morning. Reports tonight tell of 296 bodies recovered, half of which have not been identified, and a property loss that may reach $15,000,000.
     All during the day searchers after the dead kept steadily at their task, their labors resulting in a steady stream of lifeless forms being brought to the temporary morgues established in the stricken territory. Many found washed up on the opposite side of the ridge were taken into Bakersfield, seventy-five miles north of the ill-fated section.
     A late check-up tonight shows that 47 bodies are at Newhall, 9 at Ventura, 4 at Oxnard, 47 at Santa Paula, 52 at Fillmore, 40 at Moorpark, 9 at Camarillo, 61 at Piru, 6 at Saticoy, 11 at Bakersfield, with 9 more on the way to Newhall.
     It is now thought that the death list may go over 400 and that many of the bodies have been buried under the thick coating of mud spread through the valley. The work of recovering the dead will take several days yet. It is pointed out that many bodies may have drifted out to sea and that it would be days before they were washed ashore, making the time for an accurate and official death list far in the future.

Take Precaution Against Typhoid.

     Inoculation against typhoid fever has begun in the stricken area under the direction of Dr. Walter M. Dickie, director of the California Department of Health, assisted by Dr. D. Henry Wyatt of Santa Paula.
     Much interest in the developments of the flood situation centred during the day in attempts to find the cause of the disaster and locate the responsibility, criminal or otherwise. At least seven investigations were started this morning, with every indication that they will be pushed to an early conclusion.
     The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution asking that Elwood Mead, chief of the Federal Reclamation Service, be made Chairman of a board of inquiry composed of members of the American Society of Engineers, with headquarters in New York. The Board of Water and Power Commissioners appropriated a fund to aid in the work, as did the Power Committee of the City Council.
     Ventura County authorities have announced that inquests into the deaths of those killed in the flood will begin tomorrow, with the District Attorney attending, and inquests in Los Angies County will begin soon. Federal and State officials have also decided to conduct an investigation.

Memorial Services Planned.

     The Board of Water and Power Commissioners of Los Angeles pledged $50,000 for immediate relief of the flood sufferers and to pay funeral expenses of the victims. Details of the arrangement will be worked out by D. C. MacWatters, local manager of the Red Cross.
     Union memorial services will be held at the Community Church at Newhall at 10 o'clock Sunday morning. The Rev. W. S. Evans, who for the last fourteen years has been the minister for the community, will be in charge.
     "It is in no sense a public service," he said, "but a solemn gathering of friends to do honor to these sturdy farmer folk whom we knew and loved so well."
     The Rev. Mr. Evans has been one of the most active men in the community in the relief and rescue work, having taken no time for rest or sleep since the first news of the disaster.

To Study Dam Before Inquest.

     Special to The New York Times.
     NEWHALL, Cal., March 14.—The official inquest for Los Angeles County over the bodies of those killed in the San Francisquito Canyon flood may be held Friday, but there is a possibility that it will be delayed until Monday or Tuesday, Coroner Frank Nance announced here today. The inquest promises to be one of the

Newspaper images: 9600 dpi jpeg of 300 dpi jpg of original newspaper from the collection of Alan Pollack
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