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Early days

A bit of rough going

Wintertime in Montana. Early 1934. Hauling materials on the roads surrounding the damsite. These words might still make grown men shudder. Regardless of the fact that Army halftracks might not have been able to grip some of the roads in those parts, the show had to go on. There was a dam to be built. Sure it was cold, miserable and snowy. That was a given, something to be expected. Somehow, though, it still seems mind-boggling to think that timber was cut and hauled and materials transported year 'round over bad roads, and that blasting, excavating and even concrete work went on continuously. And when the frost cleared, there stood the world's biggest dam, closing a major North American river only three-and-a-half years after the project was authorized. Clearly, they weren't horsing around.

updated: 2005-02-11