Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album MSS.307

Finding aid prepared by Leilani Silver, Pamela Nett Kruger
Processing of this collection was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.
California State University, Chico, Special Collections, Meriam Library
400 West First Street
Chico, CA, 95929-0295
(530) 898-6342
SpecialCollections@csuchico.edu
6/28/2010


Title: Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.307
Contributing Institution: California State University, Chico, Special Collections, Meriam Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.3 Linear feet 1 box containing 89 Photographs
Date (inclusive): 1942-1945
Abstract: The photo album contains 89 photographs detailing construction progress of the Shasta Dam by Pacific Constructors, Inc.
Alternate Form of Material: No other forms of material.
Language of Materials note: English
creator: Pacific Constructors, Inc..

Biographical/Historical note

Early on during World War II, the Pentagon declared the Shasta Dam project to be an AA-1 defense related project, thereby receiving priority status in the acquisition of money, materials, and labor. While the urgency of generating electrical power for the war effort focused attention on Shasta Dam, the main purpose in its construction lay in the attempt to solve California’s historic water problems. Shasta Dam would become the “keystone” of the Central Valley Project.
Congress gave the United States Bureau of Reclamation authority to oversee dam construction. The Bureau quickly placed the Shasta Dam project under the New Deal funding agency of the Public Works Administration (PWA) thereby assuring an ongoing funding commitment from Congress. Additionally, the Bureau decided to bid out dam construction to private companies.
Pacific Constructors, Inc. (PCI) came into existence in 1937 when William A. Johnson, a leading southern Californian industrialist, successfully convinced other construction owners to form a joint venture and bid on the federal dam projects. Johnson brought in Steve Griffith, L. E. Dixon, Clyde Wood, Floyd Shofner, and D. W. Thurston; all experienced in completing heavy construction jobs. In preparing to bid on the Shasta job, the leadership team of Pacific Constructors decided to bring in additional construction companies. To this end, the Arundel Corporation, W.E. Callahan Construction Co., the Gunther & Shirley Company, and the Foley Brothers, Inc. all accepted the invitation to join the bid on Shasta Dam.
Once PCI had won the bid and succeeded in acquiring the Shasta Dam contract, they hired America’s top dam builder, Frank T. Crowe as the dam construction engineer. The United States Bureau of Reclamation, given authority to oversee the work of PCI, selected Ralph Lowry as Chief Engineer. Construction started in 1938, and was completed in 1944 (6 years 9 months).

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research without restriction.

Usage Restrictions

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation note

Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album, MSS 307, Special Collections, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

Related Collections

Shasta Dam construction photographs. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Collection # BANC PIC 2001.050--PIC
Photographs relating to the construction of Shasta Dam. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Collection # BANC PIC 19xx.322--AX
Inventory of the Walter L. Huber Photograph Collection, 1911-1953. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library. Collection # MS 76/14
Clair Engle Collection, MSS 177, Special Collections, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

Arrangement note

Photographs are arranged in chorological order by date and construction progress.

Scope and Contents note

The photo album contains 89 photographs detailing construction progress of the Shasta Dam by Pacific Constructors, Inc. The photo album cover labeled “Shasta Dam” is also included in the collection.

Processing Information note

Processing of the Pacific Constructors, Inc. Shasta Dam Photo Album was generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The [ABC repository] was awarded a Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from 2010-2012, "Uncovering California's Environmental Collections," in collaboration with eight additional special collections and archival repositories throughout the state and the California Digital Library (CDL). Grant objectives included processing of over 33 hidden collections related to the state's environment and environmental history. The collections document an array of important sub-topics such as irrigation, mining, forestry, agriculture, industry, land use, activism, and research. Together they form a multifaceted picture of the natural world and the way it was probed, altered, exploited and protected in California over the twentieth century. Finding aids are made available through the Online Archive of California (OAC).

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Source unknown.

Publication Rights

The library can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claimants of literary property.

Material Cataloged Separately

Photographs are in Meriam Library, Special Collections Historic Photograph Collection: sc13874-sc13962

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Pacific Constructors, Inc..
Dams--California--Photographs
Dams--California--Shasta County--Photographs
Dams--Design and construction--California--Shasta County--Photographs
Shasta County (Calif.)--Photographs
Shasta Dam (Calif.)--History
Shasta Dam (Calif.)--Photographs
Uncovering California's Environmental Collections Project

oversize-box 1

Photo Album

 

Photo Album

 

Folder 1: 42 Photographs, sc13874-sc13915

 

Item 1: sc13874 Photograph showing a view of upstream face of spillway section showing river flowing through 40 row and diversion gate in place in 44 row. 12/10/42

 

Item 2: sc13875 Photograph showing a general view of dam from point above west or right abutment. 12/10/42

 

Item 3: sc13876 Photograph showing a view of downstream face of spillway showing river flowing through the 40 row. 12/10/42

 

Item 4: sc13877 Photograph showing a general view of dam from point downstream on left abutment. 1/8/43

 

Item 5: sc13878 Photograph showing a close-up of downstream face of spillway section. Remains of timber crib in right center foreground. 1/8/43

 

Item 6: sc13879 Photograph showing a general view of dam from point above left corewall excavation. 1/8/43

 

Item 7: sc13880 Photograph showing the rock fill embankment on upstream side of left abutment. 1/7/43

 

Item 8: sc13881 Photograph showing the embankment placing operations upstream of left abutment. 1/9/43

 

Item 9: sc13882 Photograph showing a flood passing through all three low blocks in spillway section the day following record two-foot snow fall. 1/21/43

 

Item 10: sc13883 Photograph showing a view of river upstream from dam at time of flood, debris caught against suspended catwalk came from dismantled buildings at Kennett. 1/21/43

 

Item 11: sc13884 Photograph showing a general view of dam from point downstream of left abutment. 2/5/43

 

Item 12: sc13885 Photograph showing 102 inch diameter river outlet pipes being installed on high blocks in spillway section. 2/5/43

 

Item 13: sc13886 Photograph showing another view of 102 inch diameter river outlet pipe in spillway section. 15 ft. diameter penstock pipes in foreground. 2/8/43

 

Item 14: sc13887 Photograph showing a general view of spillway section from point downstream. River flow is enough to just top the diversion gate in the 44 row. 2/8/43

 

Item 15: sc13888 Photograph showing the placing of the 5 millionth yard of concrete. This took place on high block in right abutment, February 17, 1943.

 

Item 16: sc13889 Photograph showing earth and rock fill embankment placing operations upstream from left abutment. 3/11/43

 

Item 17: sc13890 Photograph showing a view of upstream face of spillway section. River is topping the diversion gate in the 44 row. Foundation for the river outlet trashracks are completed and forming starts for the trashrack columns and ribs. 3/11/43

 

Item 18: sc13891 Photograph showing a general view of dam from point downstream of left abutment showing progress at the end of the 32nd month of concrete placing. 3/11/43

 

Item 19: sc13892 Photograph showing the downstream face of spillway section. Note channels formed into concrete for discharge of water from outlet pipes. 3/11/43

 

Item 20: sc13893 Photograph showing directors and company officials present at annual meeting March 1943. Left to right: L.P. Sowles; Clyde W. Wood; F.T. Crowe; Floyd Shofner; W.A. Johnson; Mr. Davidson; D.W. Thurston; W.F. Jahn; J.C. Maguire; W.W. Lawler; Ralph Lowry (USBR); J. Bevanda; W.V. Greeley; Vincent Bressi; Warren Black; and L.E. Dixon. 3/16/43

 

Item 21: sc13894 A second photograph showing directors and company officials present at annual meeting March 1943. Left to right: L.P. Sowles; Clyde W. Wood; F.T. Crowe; Floyd Shofner; W.A. Johnson; Mr. Davidson; D.W. Thurston; W.F. Jahn; J.C. Maguire; W.W. Lawler; Ralph Lowry (USBR); J. Bevanda; W.V. Greeley; Vincent Bressi; Warren Black; and L.E. Dixon. 3/16/43

 

Item 22: sc13895 Photograph showing the spillway section and powerhouse. 4/8/43

 

Item 23: sc13896 Photograph showing the right abutment blocks nearing completion showing re-usable form panels in place on high blocks. 4/8/43

 

Item 24: sc13897 Photograph showing the general view of dam from right abutment. 4/8/43

 

Item 25: sc13898 Photograph showing the general view of dam from point above left abutment corewall excavation. 4/9/43

 

Item 26: sc13899 Photograph showing the upstream face of spillway section and right abutment. 5/7/43

 

Item 27: sc13900 Photograph showing the general view of downstream face of dam showing progress at end of 34th month of concrete placing. 5/7/43

 

Item 28: sc13901 Photograph showing a view of downstream face of spillway section. Note double channels on high blocks for double row of river outlet pipes. 5/7/43

 

Item 29: sc13902 Photograph showing a typical view of roadway and sidewalks at top of completed blocks. Parapet wall will be built about 18 inches higher at time steel pipe hand rails are placed after the war; temporary timber railing will serve until then. 5/7/43

 

Item 30: sc13903 Photograph showing a general view of dam from point downstream of right abutment. Note that forms for final pours have been moved from high blocks to low blocks. Left abutment awaiting these same forms. 5/7/43

 

Item 31: sc13904 Photograph showing a view of downstream face of spillway. First gate setting of 1943 low water period has been completed and river is flowing through 44 row. 5/18/43

 

Item 32: sc13905 Photograph showing a view of spillway section from point downstream. River flowing through 40 row after second 1943 diversion. 6/8/43

 

Item 33: sc13906 Photograph showing a close-up of river flowing through the 40 row.

 

Item 34: sc13907 Photograph showing a general view of dam from point above right abutment. Note 750 ft. length completed section showing roadway, sidewalks, and temporary timber handrails. 6/8/43

 

Item 35: sc13908 Photograph showing a view of downstream face of spillway section and left abutment. 6/8/43

 

Item 36: sc13909 Photograph showing the view of top of blocks in spillway section showing some of the river outlet pipe castings in place. 6/9/43

 

Item 37: sc13910 Photograph showing a view from above West abutment showing job progress soon after mix plant change-over was completed. 3/8/44

 

Item 38: sc13911 Photograph showing the original mix plant platform is entirely submerged. Concrete operations continue from new plant downstream from dam. 3/10/44

 

Item 39: sc13912 Photograph showing the East corewall construction and backfill operations are carried forward together. 3/10/44

 

Item 40: sc13913 Photograph taken at Annual Meeting of the directors of Pacific Constructors, Inc. (Left to right: David C. May, Office Engineer; Wm. V. Greeley, Chief Engineer; Clyde W. Wood, Treasurer; Warren Black, L.E. Dixon, J.N. Gordon, M. J. Bevanda, David Davidson, Wm. A. Johnson, President; R. M. Knox, O. W. Swenson, Floyd Shofner, D. A. Daly, S. M. Griffith, Frank Crowe, General Superintendent; Vincent Bressi, S. E. Hunkin, J. C. Maguire, Secretary; N. F. Jahn, and Paul Grafe.) March 28, 1944

 

Item 41: sc13914 A second photograph taken at Annual Meeting of the directors of Pacific Constructors, Inc. (Left to right: David C. May, Office Engineer; Wm. V. Greeley, Chief Engineer; Clyde W. Wood, Treasurer; Warren Black, L.E. Dixon, J.N. Gordon, M. J. Bevanda, David Davidson, Wm. A. Johnson, President; R. M. Knox, O. W. Swenson, Floyd Shofner, D. A. Daly, S. M. Griffith, Frank Crowe, General Superintendent; Vincent Bressi, S. E. Hunkin, J. C. Maguire, Secretary; N. F. Jahn, and Paul Grafe.) March 28, 1944

 

Item 42: sc13915 Photograph showing a general view of dam looking north. The lake elevation is 875 feet above sea level. Mt. Shasta is barely discernible directly above head tower. 4/5/44

 

Folder 2: 47 Photographs, sc13916-sc13962

 

Item 1: sc13916 Photograph showing a view from upstream showing trashrack progress. Lake elevation is 879 feet above sea level. 4/8/44

 

Item 2: sc13917 Photograph showing the first rows of reinforcing steel placed in drum gate spillway cantilever—blocks 43 and 45. 4/15/44

 

Item 3: sc13918 Photograph showing the reinforcing steel being placed in drum gate spillway cantilever of 45 block. 4/15/44

 

Item 4: sc13919 Photograph showing spillway section progress showing river outlet pipe at 942 elevation in place. Five thousand second feet of water is being discharged through two partially opened tube valves at the 742 foot elevation. 5/8/44

 

Item 5: sc13920 Photograph view shows mass concrete and roadway nearly completed in West abutment. 5/10/44

 

Item 6: sc13921 Photograph showing a 250 ton gantry crane is provided for handling of operating gates, etc. in dam. 5/10/44

 

Item 7: sc13922 Photograph showing progress of East corewall construction and backfill showing how 40 foot panels were raised and shored. 5/15/44

 

Item 8: sc13923 Photograph showing the 250 ton gantry crane is traveling with a penstock outlet coaster gate on the hook. In left background the crane siding is being excavated. 5/29/44

 

Item 9: sc13924 Photograph showing the riggers make ready a hydraulic hoist with first section of stem preparatory to placing a penstock outlet coaster gate. 5/29/44

 

Item 10: sc13925 Photograph showing a general progress view from East abutment road. 6/8/44

 

Item 11: sc13926 Photograph showing a spillway section showing reinforcing steel placed for bridge piers numbers 2 and 3. 6/10/44

 

Item 12: sc13927 Photograph showing backfilling completed East corewall. 6/12/44

 

Item 13: sc13928 Photograph showing the headtower hoist floor. Seven cableway hoists were mounted on this floor. Photo by Howard Colby

 

Item 14: sc13929 Photograph showing a view of the upstream face to show trashrack construction progress. The lake elevation is 900.2 feet above sea level. 7/8/44

 

Item 15: sc13930 Photograph showing backfilling operations in powerhouse and vista house access area. 7/8/44

 

Item 16: sc13931 Photograph showing the 45 block drum gate chamber. Anchor bolts are being placed in the cantilever section. 7/10/44

 

Item 17: sc13932 Photograph showing a general view of dam from above numbers 1, 2 and 3 tailtower runway. The East abutment roadway is completed through the 36 block. 7/10/44

 

Item 18: sc13933 Photograph showing the bridge piers take shape in the spillway section. 8/8/44

 

Item 19: sc13934 Photograph looking downstream from the East abutment. Backfilling has been started back of left training wall. 8/8/44

 

Item 20: sc13935 Photograph showing reinforcing steel being placed around “J” anchor bolts in 41 block drum gate seat. 8/8/44

 

Item 21: sc13936 Photograph showing backfill progress downstream at West abutment. Fill is being made under penstock pipes and from roadway at 1075 elevation. 8/9/44

 

Item 22: sc13937 Photograph showing a spillway section and training wall progress view. 8/9/44

 

Item 23: sc13938 Photograph showing the view looking down on hinge section of 45 block gate chamber. This section is upstream and is built as a cantilever. One more pour will be made on this block before lagging is placed over bolts to remain until gate hinges are available. 8/10/44

 

Item 24: sc13939 Photograph showing completely aligned “J” anchor bolts for drum gate hinge in 39 row. These bolts are 3 ¼” x 20’ 5” and weigh 576 pounds each. 8/18/44

 

Item 25: sc13940 Photograph showing the placing steel in number 2 bridge pier. 9/8/44

 

Item 26: sc13941 Photograph showing concrete placing continues in drum gate chambers while bridge piers are taking shape. 9/9/44

 

Item 27: sc13942 Photograph showing backfill progress downstream of right abutment. Vista house is under construction at lower right of picture where upper and lower training walls intersect. 9/9/44

 

Item 28: sc13943 Photograph showing footings under construction at end of West abutment for rails leading to Gantry Crane siding. 9/9/44

 

Item 29: sc13944 Photograph showing progress of intermediate bridge piers. Pier No. 2 in foreground is being poured to elevation 1066. 10/13/44

 

Item 30: sc13945 Photograph showing a general view of downstream face and powerhouse. Entire flow of river is passing through generator turbine. 10/11/44

 

Item 31: sc13946 Photograph looking East at spillway section. Note construction of elevator tower base by right or West training wall. 10/13/44

 

Item 32: sc13947 Photograph showing progress of backfill downstream of West abutment. 10/14/44

 

Item 33: sc13948 Photograph showing the placing of the last bucket of concrete in item 81. Photo shows round, hand-operated bucket used in close forms. This pour was made in the 44 block drum gate anchor. 10/19/44

 

Item 34: sc13949 Photograph showing a truck with bolster and manually steered trailer transporting 102’-9” spillway bridge girder from railhead to cableway dock. 10/23/44

 

Item 35: sc13950 Photograph shows using two cableways to raise the first spillway bridge girder to be placed; weight 105,000 pounds. 10/24/44

 

Item 36: sc13951 Photograph showing first bridge girder to be placed is aligned on falsework bent. The bent is cantilevered over upstream gate anchor and tied down to drum gate seat. 10/24/44

 

Item 37: sc13952 Photograph shows a rigger taking measurement to shore girder where it rests on falsework. View looks east to pier number 1. 10/24/44

 

Item 38: sc13953 Photograph showing a general view of dam after all bridge girders were placed. 11/23/44

 

Item 39: sc13954 Photograph showing the downstream face form West abutment road. 11/23/44

 

Item 40: sc13955 Photograph showing a progress view of spillway bridge erection looks east from elevator tower structure. 11/23/44

 

Item 41: sc13956 Photograph showing the shadow of the East training wall near crest of spillway outlines the parabolic curve of the structure. Note riggers riding beam above bridge. 11/23/44

 

Item 42: sc13957 Photograph showing progress of spillway bridge, elevator tower and hoist tower. A rope safety net, seen under center bridge span, was used in conjunction with a fence wire net for protection of personnel during bridge construction. 11/23/44

 

Item 43: sc13958 Photograph showing the final bucket of concrete to be placed in Shasta Dam. A pour in the bridge deck. 12/22/44

 

Item 44: sc13959 Photograph looking South-East at the upstream face from the headtower elevator cage. Lake elevation is 963.08 feet above sea level. 2/14/45

 

Item 45: sc13960 Photograph looking east from point above right abutment. 2/14/45

 

Item 46: sc13961 Photograph showing dam and powerhouse as seen from above left abutment. 2/14/45

 

Item 47: sc13962 Photograph showing view looking north to show Shasta Dam completed. 4/18/45

 

Item 3: Photo Album cover