The building of Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge wasn’t accomplished without great personal loss by some. I’m posting two photos this time because they are closely tied to one another. Here’s the first:
This photo is dated 9/10/1958. The handwritten caption on the back reads,
“Lower end of diversion tunnel and adit for powerhouse tunnel road. Right above the adit is where the man got killed Aug 11th. Rock ledge 200 feet above adit broke off. Small footbridge across river is at lower left.”
You can clearly see the lower opening to the powerhouse tunnel mentioned in the picture. It’s located at the base of the dam, next to the powerhouse. The lower footbridge mentioned in the caption and visible in the photo was at the approximate location of the powerhouse. My next post will be a better look at that lower footbridge. The powerhouse tunnel runs along the inside of the canyon wall from behind the old Country Club/golf course on top, to this point below. It’s still in use. The adits mentioned in the caption are the smaller horizontal tunnels that intersect the main tunnel at 90 degrees at regular intervals, primarily for ventilation. If you scroll back up to the picture, you’ll see the adit that is mentioned in the caption.
This photo was taken or cataloged one day short of a month following a fatality at this location that occurred on 8/11/1958. The photo caption mentions that a rock ledge broke off above the adit and killed a man. According to the memorial plaque below, the individual’s name was Austin Merritt. He joins 17 others who lost their lives in the Glen Canyon Dam project. All of them are listed here:
The above memorial plaque was created by WMPearl in 2011 and is posted on Wikimedia Commons. I don’t know where it physically resides. Click [HERE] to view the source website at Wikimedia.
In the early 1970’s, one of my friends told me that her father was killed during the building of the dam. His name is listed at the top of the middle column, Raymond D White.
UPDATE 5/24/17: Here’s a list of memorials of the names on the plaque compiled by Donna Bloxton Petersen. Thank you Donna for all the time and work you put into this!
- Aug 24, 1957 – ROBERT CHAPMAN FRAZIER (41) (Military Portrait)
- Sep 09, 1957 – BUFORD L. PERSINGER (31)
- Sep 17, 1957 – LELAND FLOYD HARPER (40)
- Mar 21, 1958 – VINCENT SCHAFFER (38)
- Aug 11, 1958 – AUSTIN ENOS MERRITT (25)
- Feb 16, 1959 – VANCE EDWARD McNUTT (40)
- Mar 17, 1960 – RAYMOND DEE WHITE (37)
- July 19, 1960 – JERRY M. CRAWFORD (26)
- Dec 01, 1960 – WILLIAM K. “TURNER” COMBS (45)
- Dec 13, 1960 – ROBERT SIERRA GONZALES (46)
- Jun 08, 1961 – BERTRAM C. MARTIN (53)
- July 25, 1961 – ARDIS CALVIN “BLUE” KING (34)
- July 25, 1961 – KEITH CARROLL WALKER (19)
- Sep 07, 1962 – PABLO ALVARDO VALENZUELA (50)
- Jun 27, 1963 – ERVIN B. DONIHOO (50)
- Aug 18, 1963 – LARRY G. KOWALSKI (25)
- Aug 30, 1963 – MAUGHAN A. CROFTS (40)
- Oct 19, 1965 – COY O. HALL (50-51)