Dam Construction

Early 60s Dam Construction
1962 Dam Construction

This is a great shot of Glen Canyon Dam under construction from 1962. I don’t remember where I got this picture but it’s one of my favorites because this is how I remember the dam. I spent a lot of time on or near the bridge during this time, watching the dam go up. I must have rode my bike out there a lot with friends just to hang out and watch the construction. It never got old.

From the bridge, the trucks and workers below looked like toys. I remember that elevator on the wall of the canyon. I would watch it carry workers up and down for what seemed like hours. It probably was hours. That was one positive about growing up there. My feet would hit the floor in the morning and I was gone all day.

To the right of this picture, just downstream of the bridge, was the original visitor’s center and lookout. The road down to the old lookout is still there, as is the lookout and parking lot, if anyone’s feeling adventurous.

-Mike

Glen Canyon Dam Construction Site

Glen Canyon Dam Construction Site. Undated. Source is most likely the USBR.
Glen Canyon Dam Construction Site. Undated. Source is most likely the USBR.

Here’s an incredible shot of the Glen Canyon Dam construction site. The picture is undated, but it has to be pre-1960 or 1960 at the latest. This was probably taken just about the time we moved there, or a little before. This is looking downstream. The ropes (for those who are familiar with those) are just around the curve in the canyon. Page is to the left side of the canyon on Manson Mesa and the present day visitor’s center is on the right. The original visitor’s center was eventually built (“built” isn’t the right word – the original visitor’s center was a pre-fab building that was later moved into town and placed near the football field as the LARC center. I don’t remember now what that acronym stood for) on the left side of the bridge in this picture and there was a short road down to a lookout point. That road and the lookout point are still there, but chained off so no one can enter.

This is a sweet picture that captures a moment long since past, not to mention under water.

-Mike

November, 1957

November, 1957 Photo: USBR
November, 1957
Photo: USBR

Check this out! Early construction shot of the dam site. The beehive is clearly visible near the center of the picture. The dark mesa on the left side of the picture near the top is the Page town site. There’s nothing there yet to speak of, but that’s either smoke or dust in the top left corner. It looks like there’s some building going on, but I’m not sure what it was. If you have any info you can add to this pic, please leave me a comment below.

Here’s something really cool. If you look close at the canyon in this picture, just this side of where the dam is to be built, you can see a tiny line across the canyon. I’m pretty sure that’s the footbridge I mentioned in a previous post HERE.

I received an email this week from someone who’s husband had started working there in February 1957, almost a year before this photo was taken in November, 1957. In December 1957, their whole family moved here. When we moved there in 59-60, their son and I quickly became best friends. I’m thankful we’re back in touch after all these years.

-Mike

The Foot Bridge

foot-bridge2
Upper foot bridge. Still frame from home videos.

Here’s a couple of pics of the upper foot bridge that spanned the canyon prior to the completion of the real bridge. I apologize that they are so blurry. These are stills that I pulled from a video that I have of my parents and a couple of their friends walking across this bad boy. It was originally shot in 8mm, transferred to VHS and then to a DVD. It’s a real short video but I hope to get it posted here before long. This foot bridge was pre-1960 and in place until some time after Glen Canyon Bridge was completed.

There was (and is) a story floating around that someone drove a VW Beetle over this bridge. If you’re reading this and you can confirm or deny that story, please do. Does anyone remember this foot bridge? I wish I could find more pictures of it. I you have any that you would like to see here, contact me.

foot-bridge1
Upper foot bridge. Still frame from home videos.

I hope to get the video in the right format to post soon. Thanks for your interest in my site.

-Mike

Extreme Rock Climbing

Highscalers getting ready to descend into the canyon at the future site of the dam. This photo is dated 1955.
Highscalers getting ready to descend into the canyon at the future site of the dam. This photo is dated 1955.

These guys were gutsy! They’re getting ready to scale the canyon wall at the site of Glen Canyon Dam before there was a dam. They’re standing near the location of the present day Visitor’s Center. The “MM” in the background is a reference to Manson Mesa, the cite of the future town of Page.  I like that one guy is wearing a straw hat. I’m guessing the guy in the hard hat did most of the climbing, if not all of it. This photo was dated 1955 and was part of a Word document someone sent me several years ago.

-Mike