The vision for a dam on the Colorado River began as early as 1902 with the establishment of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. In 1918 the Bureau of Reclamation recommended construction of a dam in the Boulder Canyon section of the river on the Arizona-Nevada border. The seven Colorado River Basin states signed the Colorado River Compact in November 1922, which eventually led to the 1928 Boulder Canyon Project Act. This act was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge in December 1928 and the Boulder Canyon Project Act was declared effective in June 1929. The dam project was bid and the Six Companies, Inc., was awarded the contract in March 1931. Construction commenced soon after. The river was diverted around the dam site in November 1932 and the first concrete was poured in June 1933. In early 1935 the dam began impounding water, creating Lake Mead. The dam was completed later that year and dedicated in September 1935. Hydroelectric power generation began in October 1936. In 1947 the dam was renamed Hoover Dam in honor of President Herber Hoover. The final power generator was installed in 1961. Hoover Dam today is maintained and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. (This information was abstracted from a chronology of the history of Hoover Dam on the Bureau of Reclamation's Hoover Dam web site http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/History/articles/chrono.html).
Return to Hoover Dam Construction Photograph Album Home