Dry Canyon Historic Photos


Construction of the Dry Canyon dam and reservoir started in December of 1910 and was finished in February of 1912. The construction photos were taken in that time period. If known, the dates of the other photos are given. The newer comparison photos were taken in September of 2010.



Reservoir site looking northwest

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



About the same view today



South end of Tunnel 77. Water inlet to the reservoir.

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



It would appear that the bypass pipe (constructed in 1955-57) was connected to the end of the tunnel shown above and the concrete around the tunnel opening was removed, saving the top part. After everything was buried, the saved top part was placed on a base at probably about the same place it originally was.


East abutment

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



About the same view today


East abutment and core wall trench

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.


East abutment

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.


East abutment with water filled trench between the two toes

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.


East abutment from Out West magazine, May 1911, p. 367.

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.


East abutment pond

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



View northeast from west abutment

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



Similar to above photo

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



View northeast showing hydraulic layout

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



About the same view today



Steam shovel pit near west abutment

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.



About the same view today


West abutment looking south

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.


Upper toe and shovel pit at west abutment

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.


Original Dry Canyon regulator (or weir)

Source: Lippincott Collection, Water Resources Center Archives - University of California, Berkeley
Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Used by permission of the University of California, Berkeley, Regents.


Nearly finished dam looking east (from final report)


About the same view today



Upstream face of dam view south (from final report)



About the same view today


Partially filled. View southeast with dam in right distance (from final report)


Floating regulater (or weir) (from final report, published in 1916)


About the same view today. In 1941, the weir was replaced with a different one which is why the concrete structure here is not the same as the one in the historic photo.


Another view of the weir taken maybe a few years after the previous historic photo. The brush looks a little more mature and there is a fence around the top of the concrete structure, probably to keep people from falling in. There is also more water in the reservoir.

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Courtesy of the Archives, California Institute of Technology


Photo taken on February 26, 1914 - Image 1. Note the workers in the lower center at the edge of the reservoir.

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Southern California Edison Collection. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Used by permission.


Close-up of the men working in the previous photo

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Southern California Edison Collection. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Used by permission.


Photo taken on February 26, 1914 - Image 2

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Southern California Edison Collection. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Used by permission.


Photo taken on February 26, 1914 - Image 3

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Southern California Edison Collection. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Used by permission.


Photo taken on February 26, 1914 - Image 4

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Southern California Edison Collection. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Used by permission.


The four photos above created a rough panorama of the west part of the reservoir

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Southern California Edison Collection. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Used by permission.


Photo taken on February 26, 1914, showing the dam with two men standing on it

Copyright Note: This image is NOT in the public domain and is protected by the copyright laws of the United States.
Southern California Edison Collection. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
Used by permission.


Another view of the weir. Date of photo unknown, but it had to be before 1941, which is when the original weir was replaced.

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.



Looking north across the reservoir. Photo taken before 1936.

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.



About the same view today


Looking east across the dam. It was later made wider because of the 1952 earthquake. Photo taken before 1936.

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.


About the same view today


Dam spillway. It would later be made narrower and enclosed in a concrete channel. Photo taken before 1936.

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.


Another view of day spillway. Photo taken before 1936.

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.


July 11, 1955 looking east. Photo description: "Construction of a mile long tunnel to improve operations of the Los Angeles-Owens River Aqueduct was scheduled to start this month. Cost of the project, which is located 35 miles north of Los Angeles in Dry Canyon, is estimated at $1,447.191, according to Burton S. Grant, chief engineer of Water Works. Driving of the tunnel will be carried on around the clock in three shifts and the job is expected to be completed within a year. The tunnel will bypass an existing reservoir in Dry Canyon and connect with the main aqueduct that delivers Owens River water to Los Angeles. Some of the water will continue to be discharged into the reservoir, especially at times when the city’s two power plants in San Francisquito Canyon are operating at peak load conditions. Crews of Department employees under the direction of R. R. Proctor, field engineer, already are at work erecting a construction camp, installing power lines and building access roads preparatory to actual start of tunnel drilling operations. The tunnel will be concrete lined and will have a diameter of 9 ˝ feet."

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.


About the same view today. Note the tank on the hill top.


1955 photo looking north. Shows the work constructing the new tunnel on the right.

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.


At the mouth of the reservoir. The water is coming out of Tunnel 77 (see photo near top of this page). Photo taken before 1936.

From the Historical Photo Collection of the Department of Water and Power, City of Los Angeles.