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It’s a Dam Party!
Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive

Lake Hodges Dam under construction. July 1917.
Courtesy Del Mar Historical Society.
Click to enlarge.

Lake Hodges and the Dam that made it are having their 100th anniversary. They were born twins in 1918 but which “came first”? The dam had to be built first, but wouldn’t have been, if the idea of the lake had not been conceived. Let’s celebrate!

The first event for the centennial is that of the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society on October 6. A Rancho Santa Fe event is in planning stages for early December.

Finally, the Del Mar Historical Society is organizing an evening forum on Wednesday, November 7, from 7 to 9 pm (with no-host cash bar open at 6:30) in the Emerald Ballroom of l’Auberge. The Ballroom is being made available as a function of an agreement of l’Auberge with the City regarding non-profit organizations of Del Mar. The Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society, the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society, the Santa Fe Irrigation District and the Fletcher Family Foundation are collaborating in the planning.

The Speakers will be Andy Strathman, Ph. D., California State University San Marcos, and co-editor of The Journal of San Diego History, and Trish Boaz, Executive Director of the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy.
The event is free, but seating is limited to 90 persons. Please rsvp to info@delmarhistoricalsociety.org.

The Dam was designed by John Samuel Eastwood and built for the Volcan Water Company, but later purchased by the City of San Diego. Eastwood had designed the world’s first reinforced concrete multiple-arch dam on bedrock foundation at Hume Lake, California, in the Sierra Nevada ten years earlier. It demonstrated the feasibility of the multiple-arch design. If this is not “more than you wanted to know,” read the story of his often frustrated but resilient (impressive) pioneer engineering career in his Wikipedia biography or even Donald C. Jackson, Building the Ultimate Dam: John S. Eastwood and the Control of Water in the West, 1995.


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