St. Francis Dam Disaster to Be Relived at Camellia Society Meeting

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Paul Rippens

How many people know that the second highest death toll in California history occurred right here in their own backyard when the St. Francis Dam in nearby San Francisquito Canyon collapsed? In 1928, when the dam failed and flood waters came rampaging down the canyon, an estimated 431 people lost their lives — second in total lives lost only to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Paul Rippen, retired L.A. County Chief Forester, author and local historian, will be bringing his own perspective to this little-remembered catastrophe at the final meeting of the Pacific Camellia Society on Thursday evening, April 6, in Descanso Gardens.
The meeting, which gets underway at 7:30 p.m., will also include a PowerPoint presentation about camellias by Bradford King, current editor of the National Camellia Society’s magazine.
The public is invited. Membership in the Society is not required to attend.

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