When they first started talking about a project to dam and control the Colorado River, they thought that Boulder Canyon would be the best place for it. However, it turns out that nearby Black Canyon was an even better place. However, apparently you can't teach old dogs new tricks, so they kept calling it the Boulder Dam Project. And then because Herbert Hoover was the one who signed the papers to get the project going, congress decided to name it after him 12 years after it was completed. And as for Lake Mead, it's named after a guy who was in charge when that area was developed. Also, in no small way, the backstory to all of this involves a fair amount of politics.
And Hoover Dam brings us to Boulder City where we are staying. The city was built to house all of the workers at the dam and at one point during the construction, it was the largest city in Nevada. Yesterday, I mentioned that Boulder City was one of only two places in Nevada where gambling isn't legal. That stems to its beginnings when they thought the men doing the dangerous work on the project shouldn't be distracted by gambling and alcohol. Cars were actually checked on the way into town. Not surprisingly, just outside the city limits, there were a lot of empty bottles.
There are actually a lot interesting things to say about the engineering and construction of the dam and the development of the town to support it. Maybe later, when I have more time, I will post about them.
But for now, we have to figure out how to get everything back into our suitcases for our flight home tomorrow morning. The stuff that was in them seems to have exploded to at least twice as much. I'm not sure how that happened, but I think there is some kind of law about that just like there is Vacation Time.
Here are a few sights from today.
|The Boulder Dam Hotel where we're staying. It was built during 1931 during the construction of the dam for bigwigs to stay in. While not really fancy, it's still pretty nice.|
|Hoover Dam. I could never quite get the right angle to get the whole thing in the picture.|
|Most of our tour took place in some kind of a tunnel or another.|
|Intake towers for the power plant.|