In the early 1960s, thousands of construction workers and their families came to Oroville, in Northern California, to help build the largest earth-fill dam in the world. Located nine miles northeast of town, the Oroville Dam would be the cornerstone of the California State Water Project, which would provide flood control, electric power, recreation, and water to California residents. The project was so massive that it would reinvent the look of much of the area; require the building of roads, bridges, and railroads; inundate much of the area’s history under hundreds of feet of water; and greatly effect the lives of the residents of Oroville. The successful completion of the project came at a price—34 construction workers died.
Author Bio: Author Larry R. Matthews came from Southern California to Oroville in 1963. Only the core block of the dam had been completed by that time, and the author was able to see the dam rise to its enormous 770-foot height over the next five years. He is the author of many articles regarding California history. The photographs for this book came from the archives of the California Department of Water Resources, the Butte County Historical Society, and some private collections.
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