March 17: St. Francis Dam Disaster Commemorative Events in Fillmore.

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St. Francis Dam Disaster

Fillmore 90th Anniversary Commemoration Saturday, March 17, 2018

Just before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed. The collapse was one of our country's worst man-made disasters of the 20th Century. Over 12 billion gallons of water and debris rushed the length of the Santa Clara Valley, damaging homes and crops and killing at least 450 people. On March 17, 2018, the City of Fillmore will remember this disaster.

Schedule of Events

Opening Ceremony and Dedication of Commemorative Plaque, 9:00 am, Fillmore City Hall, 250 Central Plaza. The day's events begin with the unveiling and dedication of a brownstone boulder embedded with a plaque honoring the dead and remembering the survivors. Local officials and civic organizations will participate. The boulder will then be moved to its permanent location at Bardsdale Cemetery.

Presentation by Jon Wilkman, author of Floodpath: The Deadliest Man-Made Disaster of the 20th Century and the Making of Modern Los Angeles, 10:00 to 11:00 am, City Council Chambers, Fillmore City Hall. Mr. Wilkman will give an informative and interesting presentation of the collapse of the St. Francis Dam and its aftermath. He will remain to sign copies of his book which will be available for sale.

Historical Displays, Depot, Fillmore Historical Museum, 350 Main St., Fillmore. 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Display will include artifacts, videos, and visual displays of the disaster in the Piru/Fillmore/Bardsdale areas.

Guided Bus Tour to St. Francis Dam Site. 12:30 to 5:30 pm. Expert guides will review the history of the Dam, its victims and survivors on the way to and from the Dam site. See the path the flood took and hear about the communities and individuals it affected. Reservations are required. Cost is $30 per person. Contact Fillmore Historical Museum, 805-524-0948 to reserve your seat. Note: the tour will include some optional walking over uneven terrain at the dam site.

Lunch and Shopping Opportunities: Local restaurants will be available for lunch including American, Mexican and Japanese cuisines. Central Avenue businesses including unique shops and antique stores will be open for shopping.

For information on other commemoration activities in the Santa Clara River Valley, go to

St. Francis Dam Disaster • 2018


Santa Paula Candlelight Vigil 3/12/2018


Calif. Oil Museum Exhibit


Lancaster Cemetery 3/12/2018


Santa Paula 3/12/2018 (Video)


Events in Fillmore 3/17/2018


Piru Monument Dedication 3/18/2018


State Assembly

County of Ventura

City of Fillmore


County of Los Angeles 3/13/2018 (Video)

City of Santa Clarita

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