Hoover Dam Facts

About Hoover Dam

Explore Hoover dam, one of the greatest dams in the world and United States’ tallest arch dam, at Black Canyon in Nevada in Las Vegas. Constructed during the Great Depression Era, the mighty Hoover dam is a concrete arch-type dam on Colorado River in Black Canyon on the border of Arizona and Nevada. Set amidst Mammoth mountains and a picturesque scenery, the dam offers incredible views from its high vantage point. This momentous structure houses a power plant and features grandiose architecture along with rich history and lesser known Hoover dam facts. The dam was built to control floods in the Colorado River, aid agricultural irrigation, generate hydroelectric power and supply domestic water to the neighbouring cities. You can indulge in exciting outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking and camping near the dam. Hoover Dam is also a noteworthy tourist destination that welcomes more than seven million visitors from all over the world every year.

Some Interesting Facts About Hoover Dam

The construction of the Hoover Dam forced Las Vegas to clean up its act

The public of the surrounding cities welcomed the construction of Hoover Dam at Black Canyon in Nevada due to the possible economic development. Las Vegas, the project headquarters’ was even ready to sacrifice its reputation as ‘party city’. Hoover Dam facts report that they even shut down its brothels and speakeasies when the Secretary of the Interior came for inspection.

An entire city sprang up to support the construction of the Hoover Dam

As per Hoover Dam facts, a plan to create a new community to house the 5000 labourers was proposed. The community, known as ‘Boulder City’, was created which is in existence till today. But there was a delay in its development which forced many early workers to reside in the nearby city of Ragtown.

The Hoover Dam contains enough concrete to stretch across the United States

The Bureau of Reclamation provided 3.25 million cubic yards of concrete for the dam and another 1.11 million cubic yards for the power plant and other facilities. According to Hoover Dam facts, this total amount of concrete used is enough to build 3000 miles of road from one end of the US to the other end.

The world’s largest refrigerator cooled all the concrete used for the Hoover Dam

The concrete poured over the Hoover Dam would have required 125 years to cool on its own. Hence, an engineering team designed a huge refrigerating machine that distributed 1000 tons of ice every day. Hoover Dam facts suggest that this sped up the cooling process thus cutting decades off the project’s timeline.

The first summer of construction on the Hoover Dam had record-breaking heat

The construction of Hoover Dam started in April 1931 while the summer of Nevada reached its peak in June. That year’s summer was intense and witnessed record breaking temperatures with an average daily high of 48.333°C. This triggered a wave of heatstroke amongst the workers.

The Hoover Dam’s labourers were terrific showmen

Despite the scorching temperatures, the high scalers performed various stunts that attracted spectators from across the country. Hoover Dam facts state that viewers were fond of Louis Fagan and nicknamed him as ‘The Human Pendulum’ and ‘One-Rope Fagan’ as other workers used him as a swing to move to the next spot.

One heroic high scaler saved his boss’s life during the construction of the Hoover Dam

A high scaler named Oliver Cowan risked his life to save the engineer Burl R. Rutledge who fell from the safety line at the top of the canyon. One of the lesser known Hoover dam facts is that Cowan was lobbied for Carnegie Medal to recognise his bravery.

The Hoover Dam’s chief engineer badmouthed his workers to the local press

The workers were unhappy about their living conditions in Ragtown and hence formed a community to express their demands. But the project’s chief engineer Francis Trenholm Crowe was unsympathetic and wanted to have the workforce replaced. As per Hoover dam history facts, he called the labourers as malcontents on print news which made the workers return to work

Nobody really wanted to name the dam after Herbert Hoover

In 1930, Wilbur, the Secretary of the Interior declared the name of the dam to be Hoover Dam during the official opening. He named the dam after his superior who commenced the project. But Wilbur’s successor, Harold L. Ickes, switched the dam’s name to Boulder Dam during its construction phase.

Herbert Hoover wasn’t even invited to the dam’s dedication

According to Hoover dam facts, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was not fond of his predecessor Hoover. He did not invite him for the opening ceremony and declined to give Hoover the expected nod during his speech.

The Hoover Dam didn’t officially take its name until 1947

One of the appalling Hoover Dam facts is that this world-famous dam spent 14 years without owning an official name. On April 30, 1947 President Harry S. Truman signed a law according to which the dam was publicly named as the Hoover Dam.

The Hoover Dam was once the world’s tallest dam

Hoover Dam is 720 feet tall and when it was completed in 1936, it was announced as the world’s tallest dam. After owning the title for two decades, it lost its stature to the 820-feet tall Mauvoisin Dam of Switzerland in 1957. As per Hoover Dam history facts, the dam is presently one among the twenty tallest dams in the arch and concrete categories


What is the secret of Hoover Dam?

The Hoover Dam created a massive lake called Lake Mead during its construction where you can find hidden shipwrecks, train tracks and cement tunnels. A secret underwater world in shades of teal is located beneath the lake to the southeast of Nevada. It houses Palm-sized bluegill fish, natural stone spires and remains of historical landmarks.

How long did it take to pour the Hoover Dam?

It took nearly five years to complete the Hoover dam construction. The construction started on April 20, 1931 and the concrete placement on the dam was completed on May 29, 1935. All other facilities were over by March 1, 1936.

How old is the Hoover Dam?

Hoover dam is 91 years old. The construction of Hoover Dam started in 1931 and it took five years for completion. While the dam was successfully completed in 1935, the power plant and other facilities were over by 1936.

What's inside the Hoover Dam?

There are 17 giant turbines inside the generator room of Hoover dam and two million watts of energy is produced every year.

Why is the Hoover Dam so famous?

Hoover Dam on the Colorado River is one of America’s wonders and an international engineering marvel. It is one of the greatest dams of the world and is still ranked amongst the 20 tallest dams of the world in concrete and arch-type dams. The concrete used for the construction of Hoover Dam is so much that it can be used to build a road for 3000 miles.

Are there tunnels under Hoover Dam?

There are four 56-foot diameter diversion tunnels under Hoover Dam that were driven through the walls of Black Canyon. Two tunnels are present on the Arizona side while the other two are located on the Nevada side.


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