Here’s another aerial view of the Glen Canyon Dam construction site. This is looking upstream toward Wahweap creek. It’s a good look at the coffer dam, the early stages of the dam itself, and the power plant. The cranes are visible on each side of the dam. There was one 25-ton and one 50-ton on rails on either side. The road down to the lookout site is visible on the right side. The oval shaped area was the parking lot and you can see the trail down to the lookout point. The footbridge is faintly visible in this photo too.
Lake Shore Drive, which was still dirt, is clearly visible. It was built and used for gravel trucks. Aggregate was trucked in to the cement plant from Wahweap Creek and dumped in an underground hopper at the base of the conveyor belt visible in this picture near the end of the road. The aggregate was processed and conveyed to the concrete mixing plant seen in this picture on a large shelf cut out of the canyon wall. That concrete mixing plant was about twenty stories tall. The mixed concrete was dumped into a rail car that in turn, dumped the concrete into the buckets suspended by the cranes, for their trip to the topmost section of the growing dam. That’s the abbreviated story of the process. I always wanted to go inside that mixing plant but I never got the chance. Click on the image to enlarge it. Download it and check out the detail.
I have to admit to not remembering Page’s first water treatment plant being at the bottom of the canyon. When Gene LeGate gave me the first bunch of USBR photos for the blog and I saw these water treatment pics, I was dazed and confused because I could only remember the water treatment plant in town and those photos were completely different. After some research, I surmised that it sat downstream of the dam on the Page side of the canyon. Can’t fool me! What sealed it for me (sort of) was the first photo I’m sharing below that Tim McDaniels gave me that shows the road to it coming out of what must be one of the adits in the canyon wall that now serves as one of the ventilation tunnels for the tunnel that runs from the top of the canyon and to the lower spillway. If that’s incorrect, please let me know. I can take it. I’m still not 100% convinced because some of the background stuff in these pictures doesn’t look right. More on that as we move through them.
This first picture is a shot from above showing the layout of the area. This is the one Tim sent me that pretty much clinched the location. Notice the water line coming over the side of the canyon. That’s the line that brought water to the fledgling town of Page. It’s referenced in another picture below. Notice also the road disappearing into the canyon wall. The handwritten caption on the back reads, “J. Reinhold. 1st water treatment plant for Page.”
Hey all, I’m taking a break from blogging for the month of December and I’ll pick back up again in January. I want to leave you with a Christmas picture of early Page. Check it out…
There isn’t anything written on the back of this picture except the name of the photographer and the date. I don’t know who that was dressed up as Santa. At first, I thought this was in the school gymnasium, which would have been new that year. But the more I look at it, I think it was somewhere else. That door in the background has a big window in it and the doors to the gym weren’t like that, at least not that I remember. I also thought at first that those were bleachers along the back wall, but I think it’s only a bench of some sort. Does anyone know what building this was in? There are two faces that I recognize, but I don’t have names to go with them.
How about you? Do you see any familiar faces in this shot? If so, let me know.
Enjoy your holidays and I will “see” you next year!
This photo is undated, but I think it must be 1957ish. The handwritten caption on the back reads,
“In bottom of canyon upstream from bridge. Concrete form for diversion tunnel shown here. To the bottom left is tunnel (mile plus long) which will connect the power house to top of canyon wall and to Page.”
Here’s the picture – a view I don’t think you’ll see anywhere but here – and one that is long since gone. Check it out. I’ll comment on it below.
There are a couple of things that need pointed out on this photo. The writing I cited above mentions a diversion tunnel and a tunnel that goes to the top of the canyon wall. Those are two different things. The opening mentioned on the left of the picture is the bottom of the tunnel that runs from there to the top of the canyon and comes out behind the old Country Club an golf course. That tunnel is still in use. The lower opening to the tunnel that you see in this picture is now on the downstream side of the dam and comes out near the power house. The next time you’re there, look down and you’ll see it. It’s interesting that the back caption says this tunnel WILL connect the top to the bottom, as it was still under construction at the time of this photo.
The concrete form mentioned in the picture is the round object on the right. There were two diversion tunnels that re-directed the Colorado River water around the dam site during construction. In future posts, I’ll be sharing some pictures with you of construction inside those diversion tunnels, as well as the upper spillways which connected to the diversion tunnels.
Notice the roadway in the center of the bridge and the road protruding out from the canyon on the right side. The present-day visitor’s center is located on the right side of this picture by the road. Also notice the netting that hung off the bottom of the bridge to catch falling workers and material. The cables that spanned the canyon are clearly visible and it looks like there is another roadway support being set at the time of this photo. This view is long gone!
Here’s a couple of great shots of some unidentified workers in random tunnels in the rock around Glen Canyon Dam. The captions below the pictures tell you what was written or stamped on the back. I don’t know what these tunnels were used for, or if they’re still there. Enjoy!
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!
This picture is a real prize. There is no caption on the back, so I don’t know what event was going on that prompted this. Before we talk about the faces in it, let me set the location for you. This is in the intersection of South Navajo and 7th Avenue (Lake Powell Blvd). The Pink Sans is behind the camera and this view is toward the football field. The opening in the chain link fence to the right of the tree was the entrance to the football field. Do you see the stop sign on the right side? That’s South Navajo Drive. We had no traffic signals. Most corners had yield signs and some, like this one, had a stop sign. Do you see the (not-so-grand) grandstands near the center of the picture? The goal posts are also visible, the north one more so. To the left of the grandstands is the old snack bar and further to the left, you can see the scoreboard. It’s that rectangular black thing about 15 feet off the ground. I’ll have more to say about that in a different post.
Behind all of the football field stuff, you can see the old teacher’s apartments. These were along church row. This is also a good shot of LeChee Rock in the distance. Hmmmm, no power plant…
Now for the good stuff. Were you in this picture? Do you see yourself in this shot? If so, and you want to ‘fess up, please do. I need some help here. I looked for myself in it, but I can’t find myself (that sounds like a U2 song!). What was Continue reading “Where’s Waldo?”→
The back caption on this photo dated 8/6/1958 reads, “Men working on bridge. View point for visitors in background.” I’ve mentioned the old visitor’s center and the lookout point in a few of my previous posts. You can see the parking lot in the background on the Page side of the canyon in this picture. Access to the parking lot and lookout was from US 89, just above this photo. The camera angle is pointing almost directly to Manson Mesa and Page.
You can see the walkway coming off the right side of the parking lot. It looped back to the covered lookout point below the parking lot. You can see some people there (just in front of the guy in white) taking advantage of the good view. Yours truly took advantage of that view countless times too. The guy at the bottom of the picture looks like he’s carrying something pretty heavy. The guy in front of him looks to be texting. 🙂
This picture looks to have been taken just past the center of the bridge on the Page side of the bridge as you can see the arch beginning its downward slope on the left toward the canyon wall. You can get good look at the net below too.
This photo had some water damage, so I’m glad I was able to scan it. It’s dated 7/21/1958 and the handwritten description on the back reads, “Tower for cableway under construction.” This was one of three towers on this side of the canyon that rode on railways. This one may have been in a fixed position. I don’t remember for sure. There were three more on the Page side of the canyon. Cables spanned the canyon from these towers and were used to dump concrete, move material, and transport workers into and out of the canyon.
This one is shown on what is today, the upper parking lot of the Visitor’s Center. The Visitor Center itself would eventually be built to the left of this picture.
Here’s a shot looking down on the conveyor belts that transported the gravel underground to the batch plant. It’s dated 9/15/1958. There is a hand-written caption on the back that reads, “Concrete batching plant and concrete aggregate piles. Aggregate goes to tunnel and conveyor belt below piles and took to top of plant.” If you enlarge this and look close, you’ll see a gravel truck approaching what I believe is the dump hopper.
On the right side of the photo near the top, you can see where the canyon wall has been excavated in preparation for the dam. You can also see the spillway cut out on the far side of the canyon. You can also see the anchor point for the bridge arch on the Page side. Just to the right of this picture is the present day Visitor’s Center.
You can also see the footbridge and its shadow being cast down the canyon wall near the center of the picture.