top of page
St. Francis Dam Disaster, by John Nichols

Built by the City of Los Angeles' Bureau of Water Works and Supply, the failure of the St. Francis Dam on its first filling was the greatest American civil engineering failure of the 20th century, and one of the worst disasters in California's history---second only to the San Francisco earthquake and fire.  Minutes before midnight on the evening of March 12, 1928, the dam collapsed.  Its 200-foot concrete wall crumpled, sending billions of gallons of raging flood waters down San Francisquito Canyon, sweeping 54 miles down the Santa Clara River to the sea, and claiming over 450 lives in the disaster.  At dawn on the morning after the disaster, local residents took their cameras to record the path of destruction.  Professional photographers followed, collecting images of washed-out bridges, destroyed homes and buildings, Red Cross workers giving aid, and the massive clean-up that followed.  With over 200 images, this photographic record captures the devastation caused by the flood, and the heroic efforts of residents and rescue workers.​

Softcover, 6 x 9, 128 pgs. 

St. Francis Dam Disaster, by John Nichols

bottom of page