ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER SITE


The 185-foot concrete St. Francis Dam, part of the Los Angeles aqueduct system, stood a mile and a half north of this spot. On March 12, 1928, just before midnight, it collapsed and sent over twelve billion gallons of water roaring down the valley of the Santa Clara River. Over 450 lives were lost in this, one of California’s greatest disasters.

Designation:
• National Monument (Pending)
• State Historical Site (919)
Visited: 03/22/2015
Location
• Plaque Location: Map
• Dam Location: Map
Website: N/A
Articles & Reference:
The Mulholland’s Dam Vanishing Act


DISASTER SITES (in Geographic Order)

SAN FRANCISQUITO POWER PLANT 1

Visited: 10/17/2020
LocationMap
Websitewww.waterandpower.org

On March 18, 1917 the San Francisquito Power Plant No. 1, Unit 1 was placed in service and energy was delivered to Los Angeles over a newly constructed 115 kV transmission line. The 200 kilowatts generated by Unit 1 were the first commercial kilowatts generated by the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light. Subsequently, on April 16 and April 28, 1917, Units 2 and 3 respectively were placed in operation. This was the Los Angeles Bureau of Power and Light’s first step in becoming an independent electricity provider.


ST. FRANCIS DAM SITE

Visited: 03/22/2015
LocationMap
Website: N/A


SAN FRANCISQUITO POWER PLANT 2

Visited: 03/22/2015
LocationMap
Websitewww.waterandpower.org

This station is about 1.3 miles downstream from where the St. Francis Dam stood. The building is 60 feet tall, but was destroyed by a wall of water that was 120 feet high.


RUIZ CEMETERY (Private)

Visited: 03/22/2018
LocationMap
WebsiteN/A


PIRU CEMETERY

Visited: 10/17/2020
LocationMap
WebsiteN/A


BARSDALE CEMETERY

Visited: 10/17/2020
LocationMap
WebsiteN/A


WARNING MONUMENT

Visited: 10/17/2020
LocationMap
Websitewww.visitsantapaula.com

Minutes before midnight on the chilly evening of March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam failed. The dam’s 200-foot high concrete wall crumbled and collapsed, sending billions of gallons of raging flood waters down San Francisquito Canyon – about five miles northeast of what is now the City of Santa Clarita. The avalanche of water swept 54 miles down the Santa Clara River to the sea. No one knows the exact death toll, but more than 450 people perished in the disaster. Shortly before 1:30 a.m. on March 13, an urgent message of imminent disaster reached the night telephone operator in Santa Paula and was quickly relayed to police officers, city officials and then homes in the lower portions of town. Among the many heroes of the flood that evening were two motorcycle officers who rode through the night to warn the sleeping citizens in the low lying areas of Santa Paula that a torrent of water was about to inundate their homes. Their heroic efforts saved countless lives. Their wild ride that night was stopped at 3:05 a.m. when the wall of water swept through Santa Paula on its way to the ocean. Many stories of heroism and courage emerged in the aftermath of the flood. This monument represents one such act of heroism.


SANTA PAULA CEMETERY

Visited: 10/17/2020
LocationMap
WebsiteN/A


IVY LAWN MEMORIAL CEMETERY

Visited: 10/17/2020
Location: Map
WebsiteN/A