Bryan - Hoover Dam

Bryan - Hoover Dam - Hoover Dam An American Dream Chapter 1...

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Hoover Dam An American Dream Chapter 1 “A River and a Dream” Hoover Dam – An American Dream was written by Joseph E. Stevens in 1988. It is the winner of 3 major awards. The Hoover Dam is the most famous in the world. It sits in the Black Canyon near Las Vegas on the borders of the states of Nevada and Arizona. It was built to harness the Colorado River. The Colorado River ran 1,400 miles through America. Born of snow and ice high in the mountains it ran over 7 states. The dam construction began in 1931 and ended in 1936, during the Great depression. It took 4 ½ years to build. The massive dam is 726 feet high and 1244 feet long at the crest. The reservoir formed behind the dam is Lake Mead, one of the largest created bodies of water in the world. It covers an area of 233 square miles. The hydroelectric generators of Hoover Dam, which are capable of supplying nearly 1.5 million kilowatts of power, provide electricity to Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California. In the distant past, the Gulf of California, which the Colorado River flows into, extended 150 miles further inland from its present day shore. There it formed a bay 50 miles wide. Each year the river deposited over 140,000 acre feet of silt at the rivers delta. This is enough to cover 214 square miles in 1 foot of soil. Eventually these accumulated deposits grew so thick that they sealed off the upper portion of the gulf. Cut off from the river, the water that remained formed a huge shallow lake. When the Colorado flooded, its waters would spill into this lake. Over time, flooding, local run-off and evaporation made this a salt water lake. The area evolved into a geological anomaly. It became a huge 2000 square mile desert. The Colorado Desert and the lake was known as the Salton Sink. At its lowest point, it was 300 feet below sea level. 1
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This story begins in the hospital room where 72 year old president of the Utah Construction Company, William H. Wattis, is dying of cancer in his hips. He is one of the wealthiest men in the west. There are a number of men in there with him, and they are having a meeting to decide on the final figure they want to bid on the contract for building the Hoover Dam. A few pages later the story backs up and tells the reader of the first person who had a vision about the Colorado River. In the early 1850's, a former New Orleans physician, Oliver Wozencroft , abandoned his family and practice in search of gold. The 4 day journey across the Colorado Desert left him nearly dead. Just before he was rescued he had a hallucination, a vivid dream about water flowing across the land and green valleys. He conceived the idea of cutting a channel from the Colorado River to the Colorado Desert. Since the Colorado River flowed at a higher elevation than the desert, it would be simple to bring water to the desert. Gravity would do most of the work. Bringing water to the desert would allow
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This note was uploaded on 07/30/2008 for the course HIST 2301 taught by Professor Trobridge during the Spring '07 term at Texas Tech.

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Bryan - Hoover Dam - Hoover Dam An American Dream Chapter 1...

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