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Hoover Dam Essay

1203 words - 5 pages

Lying in Black Canyon is the monumental structure known as Hoover Dam. Also known as Boulder Dam, Hoover Dam was built from 1931 to 1936. Frank Crowe was the head director of the building. The dam was built to irrigate the dry desert in the south west United States. The site of Hoover Dam is visited by millions of people annually and will continue to provide energy to many cities.
In 1922, a commission was formed between Arizona, California, Colorado,
Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The federal representative of the commission was Herbert Hoover. The group wanted to find a way to use the
Colorado River’s water for each state’s use. The commission wrote and signed the Colorado River Compact on November 24, 1922. The Colorado River Compact split the river basin into upper and lower halves. Within each region
the water would be directed into each state. The solution for using the Colorado
River’s water was to build a dam. The huge dam was to be built to provide
water for irrigation, flood control, and hydroelectric power. After several unsuccessful attempts to pass the agreement, President Calvin Coolidge signed the bill approving Boulder Canyon Project.
Next, details were starting to be made for the damn. At first, the Boulder
Canyon Project was planned to be built in Boulder Canyon. Later, the damn site
was moved downstream eight miles to Black Canyon. The reason it was moved was because Boulder Canyon did not have strong enough canyon walls
to hold such a big structure. Black Canyon also was chosen because it had control of the river.
Then, in 1930, “the U.S. government announced to the public they were
going to build the largest damn in the world. The job would employ seven thousand people” (Mann 15).During this time, the Great Depression was leaving Americans
homeless. So, right away hundreds of people fled west, just 30 miles southeast of
Las Vegas. When men started to arrive, sometime with their whole family, they
did not know the building was not expected to start for another year. The only
place to live was in a shanty built with few belongings. Even though the shanties were in terrible condition, families still stayed at the site.
In 1931, the contract for the building of Hoover Dam was given to Six
Companies Inc. Six Companies had to build a town for the workers and the
worker’s families to live in. The new town would be called Boulder City.
The Great Depression created the need to put men to work as soon as possible, so the dam’s construction schedule was pushed forward. The town was not ready to when the first workers arrived. At the beginning of the dam’s construction, workers and their families lived in temporary homes. By the spring of 1932, Ragtown was deserted and Boulder City was built. Boulder City was a strict place to live. Gambling, drinking alcohol, and prostitution were not permitted in Boulder City.
To begin, workers had to build two cofferdams to keep the worksite dry. Also, four diversion...

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