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2024 St. Francis Dam Lecture and Tour: Newly Added Date!

St. Francis Dam Disaster
Join us for the 2024 Annual St. Francis Dam Disaster Lecture and Bus Tour, a captivating event that delves into the tragic history of the St. Francis Dam. On Saturday, April 27, 2024, at 10:30 AM, we will gather for an immersive experience. The lecture will be held at College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne Van Hook University Center, Room 258. Enter the campus at University Center Drive, and use Parking Lot 14.

During this in-person event, you will learn about the devastating 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster. Our knowledgeable speakers, Dr. Alan Pollack, Ann Stansell, Dianne Hellrigel, and the “Dam Man” Frank Rock, will share fascinating insights into the causes, consequences, and aftermath of this significant event.

The lecture will be followed by a bus tour to the actual site of the St. Francis Dam. As you explore the remnants of this historical landmark, you will gain a deeper understanding of the tragedy that unfolded and its impact on the surrounding area.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to engage with history and pay tribute to the lives affected by the St. Francis Dam disaster. Join us for a day of learning, reflection, and discovery.

The dam break was the second-worst disaster in the history of the state of California: the failure of the St. Francis Dam on March 12, 1928 killed more than 400 people, leveled farms and homesteads, destroyed property and livestock and changed the way dam safety was addressed forevermore.
The tour includes snacks, water, and motor coach transportation.
Because this tour is a very popular fund-raiser, it is impossible to guarantee that seats will be available for purchase on the day of the tour. Order your tickets now!
Deborah Fox Lecture

Award-winning graphic novelist Deborah A. Fox will talk about Santa Clarita’s role in one of the most thrilling hero stories in California history. Fox will unfold the story of Gold Rusher William Lewis Manly and his heroic trek across America, and its dramatic ending in Santa Clarita Valley. She will discuss the heroism of the Del Valle family who resided at historic Rancho San Francisco, and draw a direct line between the captivating history of Death Valley and Santa Clarita Valley. Fox’s use of art from her graphic novel, and colorful photographs from Manly’s trek help illustrate this incredible true story.

Bio – Graphic Novelist Deborah A. Fox began her professional art career as a storyboard illustrator in film and television. She quickly evolved into creating digital graphic content, earning two Emmy nominations. Fox returned to illustration and writing when she released her first graphic novel in 2016, Everett Massacre, which won a Washington Museum Association Award. For Fox’s second graphic novel, The Man Who Beat Death Valley, she recreates the true story of William Lewis Manly, who heroically rescued eight people from the clutches of starvation and death in 1850. The Man Who Beat Death Valley has won a 2021 North Street Book Prize and Writer’s Digest called it “exemplary in character and appeal.” Fox now resides in Washington state and gives talks about history throughout the western U.S. See Author’s website.

  • Date: Saturday, April 20, 2024
  • Time: 2 pm
  • Location: Old Town Newhall Library
  • Address: 24500 Main St., Newhall, CA
  • Admission: Free


April 20 & 21 | William S. Hart Park, Old Town Newhall

The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is Los Angeles County’s premier western music festival. Surrounded by historic charm in the heart of Santa Clarita’s Arts and Entertainment District, the Cowboy Festival is held at William S. Hart Park and offers a unique festival atmosphere with over 15 performances of live music, western swing dancing, vintage vendors and western festivities.

From the days of the gold rush to Western movies, Santa Clarita’s historic sites hold a key place in the history of California. Unlock these moments at the Cowboy Festival for a fascinating glimpse into what life was like in the Old West, with event favorites including hatchet throwing, panning for gold and Dutch oven peach cobbler. Stroll through a western-town environment and browse vintage boots, hats, leather goods, jewelry and western fashion while dining on cowboy grub with all the fixin’s.

Over two days, enjoy a unique blend of cowboy, country, folk and bluegrass music across three stages and entertainment that includes western swing and country line dancing, trick ropers, living history, and activities for all ages!