Flood Control

Before the dam's construction, the Colorado River served as a water source for the farms of southern California and western Arizona. At times, however, the river that helped these areas thrive also brought devastation in the form of floods that could destroy crops and sometimes kill farmers by washing them away. The Hoover Dam would help humans to override nature by controlling such floods. In addition, the dam would help with silt removal by collecting it above the dam. In 1933, floodwaters...

Arthur Powell Davis Has A Dream

The year 1902, which marked the beginning of the Bureau of Reclamation, is also the year a significant idea sparked inside the mind of a civil engineer named Arthur Powell Davis. A graduate of Columbian University in Washington, D.C. (which later became George Washington University), Davis was the nephew of John Wesley Powell, who had helped open up the West to homestead-ing and development through his explorations of the previously unknown and mysterious Grand Canyon and Colorado River in the...

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is now a part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area that is run by the National Park Service. Lake Mohave, located downstream from the dam, is also a part of the national recreation area. Attracting more than 9 million visitors each year, the Hoover Dam's reservoir has become one of the most popular vacation and recreation areas in the country, catering to boaters, swimmers, fishing enthusiasts, and sunbathers alike. When they were completed, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead (above)...

Major John Wesley Powell

It is said that, even as a child, John Wesley Powell showed an extreme interest in the natural world. On his own, he studied botany, zoology, and geology and made many expeditions. One of these excursions was a solo trip in a rowboat from the Falls of St. Anthony to the mouth of the great Mississippi River all at the age of 22. Powell went on to become a major after several years of military service. The Civil War's outbreak spurred his military career, which began in 1860 when he joined the...

Frank Crowe

Hoover Dam Frank Crowe

In the 1930s, if you needed a dam built, Frank Crowe was the man to do it. Over the years, he had built up a remarkable reputation for efficiency and innovation in l arge-scale construction projects. Crowe was born in the town of Trenholmville in Quebec, Canada, in 1882. He moved to New England early in his life and studied civil engineering at the University of Maine in 1901. There, during the speech given by a member of the U.S. Reclamation Service, Crowe's keen interest in the western United...

The Hoover Bypass Project

United States Highway 93 crosses right over the top of the Hoover Dam and is the shortest route from Las Vegas to eastern locations. This road is also part of the North American Free Trade Agreement route, which means that it is one of the main commercial routes between Canada and Mexico. It is also the main commercial route between the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. This bypass carries a busy 18,200 vehicles each day twice the number that it carried 15 years ago. Traveling on this road...