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Dam construction began 92 years ago today

On July 7, 1930, construction began on Boulder Dam, which is known today as Hoover Dam.

The dam was built during the Great Depression, drawing more than 5,000 workers to the cauldron of the Nevada desert.

Boulder City was built to house the workers who came to help build the dam. In 1931 and 1932, the Bureau of Reclamation built homes for its department heads, engineers and employees, as did Six Companies for its executives and workers.

The first permits for commercial buildings were issued in 1931 by Sims Ely, the city manager.

Ninety-six construction workers died constructing the historic dam from 1931 to 1936, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. More than 100 additional dam workers died off the job from causes including pneumonia, meningitis and typhoid fever.

However, no one is buried in Hoover Dam. The 3.25 million cubic yard dam, covering more than 220 acres, is made of small concrete squares of about 8 cubic feet, according to a 2015 Las Vegas Review-Journal article.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially dedicated the dam on Sept. 30, 1935. In 1947, the 80th Congress passed legislation officially designating the Boulder Canyon Project’s key structure “Hoover Dam” in honor of President Herbert Hoover.

Hoover Dam is a National Historic Landmark and has been rated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, the bureau reported.

In 2014, Darwin Colby, the last known Hoover Dam construction worker, died in his sleep at 98.

Boulder City Review Editor Hali Bernstein Saylor contributed to this report.

Contact Tony Garcia at tgarcia@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307. Follow @TonyGLVNews on Twitter.

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