Throngs seeking to identify victims in a temporary morgue after the failure of the Saint Francis Dam and resulting flood, Newhall (Calif.), 1928
- Throngs seeking to identify victims in a temporary morgue after the failure of the Saint Francis Dam and resulting flood, Newhall (Calif.), 1928
- Date Created
- March 14, 1928
- Los Angeles Times
- No linguistic content
- Los Angeles Times Photographic Collection
People gathered on the deep front porch of a temporary morgue.
Temporary morgues for flood victims were established and Piru, Santa Paula, Filmore, Oxnard, Newhall, Ventura and Bakersfield. Up to March 18, 273 bodies had been recovered.
The location of the morgue is provided in a hand drawn map published in the Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 1928: 2. The 1880's building was located at the northwest corner of Railroad Ave. and Market St. in Newhall. It had been the J. O. Newhall general store, the Gulley-Swall general store, the El Dorado saloon and, at the time of the flood, the Hap-A-Lan dance club. After its use as a morgue it was torn down and in 1931 the county courthouse was built on the property.
The St. Francis Dam was a 200-foot high concrete gravity-arch dam built between 1924 and 1926 in St. Francisquito Canyon (near present-day Castaic and Santa Clarita). The dam collapsed on March 12, 1928 at two and a half minutes before midnight. The resulting flood killed more than 600 residents plus an unknown number of itinerant farm workers camped in San Francisquito Canyon, making it the 2nd greatest loss of life in California after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It is considered the worst American civil engineering failure in the 20th century.
- 1 photograph
- b&w nitrate negative
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