The Last Dam Victim: Youth Dies After Falling from "Tombstone."

Webmaster's note.

The center section of the St. Francis Dam that remained standing after the rest of the dam collapsed on March 12-13, 1928, came to be known as the "Tombstone." It was a popular — and deadly — tourist attraction until the City of Los Angeles blasted it to dust in May 1929, a full year after the youthful prank that claimed Le Roy Parker's life on May 27, 1928.

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30-Foot Fall is Fatal to Youth.

San Fernando, Calif, May 28. — Falling 30 feet from a concrete fragment of the St. Francis dam, Leroy Parker, 18, sustained injuries which caused his death in the hospital here last night.

Parker, who had climbed the dam remnant that he might view the site of the break which took 378 lives* on March 13, lost his balance and fell when he attempted to evade being struck by a small snake tossed toward him by another youth.

He received a punctured lung and other internal injuries when he struck the floor of the canyon.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam. *The full count was not known, and never will be. As of 2018, the estimate is 411 lives.

Boy Killed in Plunge from Remnant of St. Francis Dam.

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Leroy Parker, 18 years of age, 2100 Raymond avenue, was standing on a remnant of the destroyed St. Francis Dam in San Francisquito Canyon yesterday afternoon when a chum who had gone to the dam site with him found a snake on the hillside fifty feet away, picked it up on a stick and threw it at him. Leroy made efforts to avoid being hit by the snake, lost his balance and toppled to the boulder-strewn canyon floor, thirty feet beneath. He died at the San Fernando Hospital a few hours later.

Leroy's father, W.R. Parker, who had driven the two young men and another son, Willis, from Los Angeles to the San Francisquito Canyon to view the havoc of the flood, was standing on the dam remnant ten feet from his son, but could not save him.

When they reached Leroy he was still conscious and while it was evident that some ribs had been broken, Mr. Parker did not think the accident would prove fatal. They helped the young man to the automobile and hastened south to the San Fernando Hospital. Leroy's condition rapidly became acute due to internal injuries and death followed shortly after.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam.

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PARKER. Accidentally, at St. Francis Dam. May 27. Le Roy Arthur Parker, aged 18 years, beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. William R. Parker and brother of Willis R. and Helen Gertrude Parker of 2100 Raymond avenue, this city.

Funeral services today at 1 p.m. from the chapel of W.A. Brown, 1815 South Flower street.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam.

St. Francis Dam


Youth Dies from Fall 5/27/1928


Preparing to Dynamite 4/16/1929


FILM: Setting Dynamite Charges

Dam to be Toppled 4/19/1929

Dam Crumbles (Before) 5/30/1929

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