Bryan - Hoover Dam Chapter 4

Bryan - Hoover Dam Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 "Under the...

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Chapter 4 “Under the Eagle’s Wing” The dam and all the area around it, including Boulder city, were part of the “Boulder Canyon Project Federal Reservation”. It covered 144 square miles . Rules were very strict once you entered the Federal Reservation. At the Reservation gate there was a guard house which was manned 24 hours a day. On the guard house was a sign prohibiting liquors, narcotics, explosives, and fire arms. Anyone who even showed up at the guard house drunk would not be allowed in until they were sober, and if they missed their shift, then they would probably be fired. This was a pretty easy way to enforce the rules and it seemed to work. The decision to build a city to house the employees of the dam was made early in the planning stages of the dam. So a blueprint was made of a city to house about 3,000 Americans. There would be no saloons, casinos, bawdy houses, or the sale of liquor in this model American community. 4 weeks after receiving the contact to build the dam, Six Companies hired S.R. DeBoer to design a city. His design was elaborate and included a green-belt forest and 18 hole golf course. Six Companies said his plan was ridiculous, would be too expensive, take too long, and they did not need a green-belt forest and golf course so they sketched their own plan. Dormitories would be built to house almost 1,600 workers. The men would be charged $1.65 a day to live in the dormitory, eat 3 meals a day at the mess hall, and be transported to and from the job site. Since they only made $4.00 a day this was more than 40% of their pay. One of the first things that was completed was the mess hall which became Boulder City’s pride and joy. A staff of 30 white clad waiters, called “flunkies” served 6,000 meals a day. Besides serving meals it became the social center of the town. At the first dance held there, over 2,000 men and women showed up.
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Cottages, called “ dingbat houses ” by the carpenters who built them, were built for married laborers. They would be torn down when the dam was finished. 630 of these were built in 6 months. They were all identical and ugly. Since building them quickly was the most important thing, the crews, which consisted of 2 carpenters and one helper, had to build 1 ½ houses each day or they would be fired. When Six Companies had refused the plan drawn by the architect and
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Bryan - Hoover Dam Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 "Under the...

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