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Transcript of interview with Neil H. Holmes by Laura Bell, February 12, 1975






On February 12, 1975, collector Laura Bell interviewed her neighbor, plant mechanic foreman, Neil H. Holmes (born on November 16th, 1897 in Chicopee, Kansas) in the collector’s home in Boulder City, Nevada. This interview covers the construction of Boulder (Hoover) Dam. During this interview Neil also discusses local living conditions in 1931.

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Holmes, Neil H. Interview, 1975 February 12. OH-00880. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes i An Interview with Neil H. Holmes An Oral History Conducted by Laura Bell Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas Special Collections and Archives Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada, Las Vegas UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes ii © Ralph Roske Oral History Project on Early Las Vegas University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2019 UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes iii The Oral History Research Center (OHRC) was formally established by the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada System in September 2003 as an entity of the UNLV University Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The OHRC conducts oral interviews with individuals who are selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics in Las Vegas and Southern Nevada. The OHRC is also home to legacy oral history interviews conducted prior to its establishment including many conducted by UNLV History Professor Ralph Roske and his students. This legacy interview transcript received minimal editing, such as the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader's understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. The interviewee/narrator was not involved in the editing process. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes iv Abstract On February 12, 1975, collector Laura Bell interviewed her neighbor, plant mechanic foreman, Neil H. Holmes (born on November 16th, 1897 in Chicopee, Kansas) in the collector’s home in Boulder City, Nevada. This interview covers the construction of Boulder (Hoover) Dam. During this interview Neil also discusses local living conditions in 1931. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 1 February 12th, 1975. Time ten A.M. The place: 636 California Avenue, Boulder City, Nevada. The collector is Laura Bell, of 636 California Avenue. The project is the Local History Project, Oral Interview, Recollections of an Early Worker on the Construction of Hoover Dam. And Neil we need to know the place of your birth and the date of your birth, to start this off. Well, I was born in Chicopee, Kansas, quite a few years ago. Longer than I’d like to remember. (Laughs) (Laughs) On November the 16th, 1897. Pretty close to my birthday. Yes. Were you born on a farm? Were you—? No. At the time, my dad was working in a coal mine. Oh. In Kansas. And a short time after, less than a year after I was born, my dad moved to a farm, nay family did, and I was raised on a farm, in Kansas. And we left there in 1916, when I was about eighteen years old, nineteen, and went to Wyoming. And we spent fifteen years on the ranch there in Wyoming. And times got pretty bad there along in the 1930s and ‘31, so we moved down here to Kansas—or to Nevada, 1931. But where did—you’re a pipefitter. Yes. I’m a pipefitter. Where did you learn pipe fitting? I learned that while working on the Guernsey Dam in Wyoming. Oh, mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 2 Some of the time that we didn’t have too much to do on the ranch there and I went down there and worked a couple winters in Guernsey, working as a pipefitter. Mm-hmm. And then you came out here from there? Came out here from Nevada, yes—from Wyoming. Then who—who was in charge of that? You? Frank Crowe was the superintendent and Chelsen was a pipefitter foreman that I worked for there. And when they come down here and got this contract I—I wrote to Chelsen and asked him about a job and he says come on down. He’d have a job for me. He was the master mechanic on this job when it started. Mm-hmm. And it was too hot for him here in the summer time, and he had to let that job go. He couldn’t—couldn’t handle it on account of the heat. Hm. And Cy Bowes took over then as master mechanic but I worked there for Chelsen when he first started. And of course when Chelsen left, why I stayed on and worked for Cy Bowes. Hm. And Frank Rowe was the superintendent. You were lucky to have a job when you came. That’s for sure. (Laughs) (Unintelligible) When we was on the way down here, people had asked us where we was going and I told them to Boulder City, to Las Vegas, and work on the dam. And they said, “Oh, don’t—don’t go down UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 3 there.” They says, “You haven’t got a chance to get on, there’s thousands of people (unintelligible) jobs down there.” Hm. But I already had the letter in my pocket. Mm-hmm. Stating that I had a job. So I wasn’t worried about that. (Laughs) We kept on coming. Mm. But it was doubtful. It was very, very doubtful if a man would go to work if he didn’t have a job here. It was very doubtful about getting on and going to work. Yes. Huh. You just (unintelligible) all your belongings in the car and took off, huh? Yes. We—we come down here, with just about everything we had. After we go down here, we road back and they did send us a box down, oh they had a—small dining room table and a couple of chairs and stuff like that. That they sent down to us. Mm-hmm. But most of our stuff was loaded on to that old Model T or Model A Ford, from down here. We lift up our own, 13th of May, go down there to the 16th, took us for days to come down, a thousand miles. We got here on the 16th and I went to work on the 17th and the first day we lived in a tent down on the river, River Camp, they called it. Or Hollywood, or— (Laughs) Williamsville. Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 4 They called it worst names than that. But you can’t repeat ‘em here. (Laughs) First day I was supposed to get home and get off work at four o’clock and the first day we had to work overtime and I didn’t get home till three or four hours later. My wife was pretty worried when I got home that night. She thought maybe I got killed or something, and they forgot to send me home. Mm-hmm. But we—we got used to it after a while. Was it hot? Was it hot in May when you came? Ah, it was pretty warm. It wasn’t hot like it got later on. But it was—it was—it seemed to us as, that it was awful hot then. Hm. Of course it wasn’t hot like it did get later on. Mm-hmm. During the summer there, there was for a month during the summer or thirty days, it didn’t get the thermometer never went below a hundred. Jeez. Day or night. Oh. It was from that on up to a hundred and thirty. Oh. And that was an awful lot to us. (Laughs) It makes you think. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 5 Yes. We lived in that little nine foot square tent for about, oh, maybe a month or six weeks and then we bought a big tent, that was twelve by sixteen, seemed big to us. It was big. It was boxed up on the sideboard. It had four feet on the side. And had a floor in it even. Mm. That was living deluxe. Yes. (Laughs) (Laughs) A wood floor and— Wood floor, yes. I’ll be darned. Yes. It was a wood floor. We paid thirty dollars for that and when we got a house up here in October. Why we sold it and got the same amount out of it that we paid for it. So we didn’t lose any money on it. Mm-hmm. Had the use of it. Mm-hmm. No was there pipefitting when you first when to work? Yes. I went to work as a pipefitter there. And we worked—worked there till just, oh, probably about six weeks. And then, they—I got a crew. They gave me a crew and I went to work at four o’clock in the morning. And worked till noon. Hm. And kind of get out of the heat. And then we had some work we had to use a boat for our, part of our work, our morning work, until we could get a boat from four to twelve. Or from four in the UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 6 morning till eight, to move our pipe and then we do our pipe work from eight till twelve. And long about the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth of July, I got a little bit too hot. World War Two to go back just a little bit, they had a truck run into a—some of the pipework down at, well, (unintelligible) huh? (Laughs)? (Laughs)? (Unintelligible) Anyway, this truck run into the compressor plant at the lower end and broke out some pipework. So they got a hold of me, along about oh five, six o’clock in the morning, to go down and repair that job. Well, it took us till noon to get through with it, which was time for us to go home. But we got too hot down there in the sunshine. It was awful hot at that time. Well, I had to take off. I had to quit and we went up to Charleston for about—well, we was up there ten days. And then come on back down and it was still pretty hot. So we went and stayed in Vegas there for a few days at Cowboy Bills Camp. It’s over there on west—on the Westside. And— What kind of a camp? It was just a— Motel? No. Just a— Camp? Just a trailer tent camp. Mm-hmm. No air conditioning? No. (Laughs) (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 7 No air conditioning. (Laughs) And we had our little tent. Wow. That we took up to Charleston to live and left our big tent down there. Mm-hmm. And we put it up down there and worked—lived there a few days and then I come on back out and went to work. Hired out again and went to work, and worked two days and then the strike come along. Mm. In August. So we was off work then for about a week, when that strike was on. Was the strike for higher pay? Yes. Well, yes, it was kind of a wildcat strike. It was just the miners that struck that—struck that job. Mm. But I worked two days and then they went out on strike and everybody went off so we was off then for another week or so. And went back in there and stayed back in there and lived till we got, we hired out again there and then after the strike was settled why I come back out here and got our job back and moved back down to Rag Town. That’s one of the names. But— (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 8 And when we come back after the strike I worked a while in the small railroad tunnels. And then, I moved down to the lower end and had a crew down there, had a crew of pipefitters. Six or eight men and we moved pipe up to the side of the hill and run four and six inch pipe in on the hill. Then later on they got electric cable to come in. Before that in the early days, they didn’t have any electricity down here. They had just portable, hundred and ten volt electric— Generators? Generators. And that’s all the electricity they had down there. Later on they got the twenty-three hundred in here and we had to go up and help them drag that line in here. Where did the electricity come from? It come from San Bernardino. (Unintelligible) That’s a number eight. Mm-hmm. What they call a number eight now. A small line. Mm-hmm. And they brought that in from San Bernardino, up until that time the only electricity they had here was the portable generators in Boulder City and down there, too. Mm. Course in—down in Rag Town where we lived there was no electricity there period. Mm-hmm. What we had there was just the lantern, if we had anything at all or a flashlight or a car light. What’d you do for water in Rag Town? Rag Town we carried our water up there in buckets. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 9 Hm. We carried the water—a bucket of water up there. Three gallons of water. And it would be about two inches of sand in the bottom of it the next morning after it settled out. There was that much muck in the river. You got out of the river. Yes, out of the river. Hm. And of course, later on, someone did haul water out there and sold this water. We’d—oh, I don’t know, we paid ten or fifteen cents for a three gallon bucket of water. Hm. Five, ten cents a gallon. (Laughs) And it was pretty rough times in them days. I guess so. And later on, that following fall, they had—they started the big tunnels. First, well, I’m (unintelligible) for some time I worked in the (unintelligible). Went in from the side of the cliff and in it, in intersected the big tunnels. And I drilled them tunnels in. That eight foot tunnel. And then from that branched off from that and went up back and forth up the tunnel. One tunnel went up and one went down. And I worked down there in maintenance pipefitting and maintenance in there. And then, when they hold out, I went down below. Now what does hold out mean? Well. When they met—from the other end. Oh. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 10 Well, one come in and hit together, you see, and hold out that way. Mm-hmm. Then I went down below and had a pipe crew on the lower end. And a short time after that, they built a—what they called the Jumbo, big Jumbo, that was Willy Williams brainchild. And they built that out where he could put about thirty-two or thirty-six machines on that one truck. Oh it had a truck? Yes. It was built on the truck. Mm-hmm. And they put these—all these machines on there and I— Oh, what do you mean, drilling machines? Drilling machines. Yes. Mm-hmm. Jackhammers, there. Oh. They were blinders. What they were, they were liners, instead of the jackhammers— Mm-hmm. That you handle by hand, these were liners. And they had air and water, had to be piped up on this truck. And it failed to me to pipe up the first one. It was—the first one that was built, the carpenters built the truck, on the—built the frame on the—this international truck. And then, I had to go in and pipe it up, and put manifolds on there. So that the miners would have air and water on there. So whenever they moved the air on water moved right with them. The air and water for every one of those machines? Yes. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 11 (Laughs) They had to have that air and water, you see. Yes. And drilling in there, they couldn’t drill dry holes in there. They had to have water. Mm-hmm. To keep the dust down. Mm-hmm. And that propelled me to— Hm. Pipe that up. Well, then, they found out that that worked alright. Well, then they built four new machines, made them out of steel. Instead of just a wooden frame on the trucks, why, they were built steel frames, so we would have (unintelligible). They knew the wooden one wouldn’t hold up because the vibrations you know would shake it all lose. Mm-hmm. No way of holding it. Mm-hmm. And they were built uptown here and then hauled down there. Hm. But the first one I did pipe that up. Mm-hmm. And, of course, I stayed on maintenance then. Right on through for many, many months. It seemed like many years. (Laughs) UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 12 But it wasn’t it was just many months. You don’t realize how much piping there is to do. Yes. When you think of that (unintelligible) when you think of every machine having two pipes. Oh, you sure— (Laughs) You sure don’t. You didn’t realize when you started how much pipework there would be on a job like this. I worked on the Guernsey job and—and that was very small compared to this. Mm-hmm. And, course I stayed here then. Then one day, they turned the water through them tunnels by then of course, they put in the Cofferdams and started excavation for the dams. Well, of course, I moved right in with them on that, and done the pipework in there, where they was excavating for them dams and moved pumps and put in pipelines and moved pumps in and out every time they shot, we had to move all of the pumps out of the bottom down there. Mm. And soon as they shot, why, we had to move the pumps back in and hook ‘em up again. Hm. (Laughs) How much of a crew did you have there? Oh, any where’s from six to a dozen men. Uh-huh. And we done the pipework for the steel shops that—they had steel shops. They had to sharpen all of that steel. And we had to pipe them up, you know. Hm. When they’d build a new steel shop, why we’d have to pipe that up; give ‘em air, and water. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 13 Mm-hmm. They’d have to. In the—in February of 1932, they had a flood come down the Colorado River. Lasted two or three days and it flooded our tunnels out, our big tunnels. And of course at that time, we had to get them tunnels all cleaned out and pump the water out. And some of that water was too heavy to pump. It was so much mud in it, that they had to haul ‘em up in there. And sprayed in that water. And then, hauled them up out again. (Laughs) They couldn’t—it was too heavy to pump and it was too light, you know. (Laughs) To get out any other way. Mm. And that took several days (unintelligible) where I would run into, probably three or four weeks before them was all cleaned out, to where you could go back to their regular mining again. Mm-hmm. Their drilling. Hm. But that—that muck in there, you’d weigh it in there and that would be—oh, it would be three and four feet deep in the bottom of them tunnels. But you couldn’t pump it out. So you had to go in and just—(unintelligible) sand and muck and rock and stuff in there, and they absorb that and then—then hauled it out. Yes. With a shovel. So you could handle it. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 14 Handle it. Mm-hmm. Now what would a pipefitter be doing at that time? At that time we was getting our stuff cleaned up and getting ready to go again. Uh-huh. We— That you got out of the flood? Yes. We—we never run out of work. In fact, you never saw a pipefitter sit down. If you could see a (unintelligible) pipefitters or electricians that were resting, you’d figure that everything was going along good or they would be busy. Yes. (Laughs) Electricians and pipefitters had to—they was—if there was anything to do, they was doing it, of course. In the tunnels when they were drilling in there with these jumbos, we would have to see that they had air and water, while they drilled their rounds out. And when they got through drilling their round out and they got ready, getting ready to shoot, they’d move their jumbo out, we’d have to go in and take out all this pipe, air and water lines, and move it back far enough so that the shot wouldn’t break the pipelines out and mash it up. How many machines would there be on one of those jumbos? They had the size thirty-six on there. There was four—there was four or five bars up on them. And then— You mean there was thirty-six machines on one of those trucks? Yes. Yes. One jumbo, yes. That ran the pipe to every machine? Yes. Well, no. They had the hose. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 15 Yes. They were on manifolds up there. Yes. And then they had their hose to every machine. Yes. Oh yes. Yes. We didn’t have pipe to every machine. Mm-hmm. We didn’t have to pipe anything on the jumbos other than pipe it up to start with. Uh-huh. You (unintelligible) they had their short hose there. Mm. So they used it there. Mm-hmm. And after we—and as soon as they would muck out, and the tunnel was mucked out, after the electric shovels got in there and cleaned it out. But then we would have to go in there and put the pipeline back in. Mm-hmm. And put it back to the jumbo again (unintelligible) with a couple lengths of three inch hose. Mm-hmm. Air hose. And we had four of them headings. Two on each side of the river at the lower portals that we had to take care of. (Unintelligible)? Well, that took—that took most of our time. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 16 (Laughs) Taking care of these four tunnels then. And I guess (unintelligible) And of course we had, other men—we had cruise men that do (unintelligible) but we had the—a lot of work was right in their tunnels. And that lasted for quite some time. And the—as soon as the tunnels was far enough along, well, they—well, they always had pumps to put in there too. Because there was water in them tunnels. Seepage in the tunnels, we had pumps to move in and out of the tunnels at all times. (Unintelligible) after the tunnels were all drilled out, why, we started in on the cement work and that was quite a project—they—at first they had to go through and pour the (unintelligible) and the bottom of the tunnel, and after that was poured— Now invert means the bottom? Bottom, yes. Uh-huh. Invert is the bottom. Mm-hmm. And then after that was poured, they—they built what they called a sidewall jumbo, that they poured the sidewalls with. They built that on a tractor that was laid on the invert and that machine there, that jumbo was moved ahead. After you poured one set of the—one forum, why, that, they collapsed that forum, brought it in four or five inches, and then moved it on ahead to the next place and set that at the proper spot and poured another one. That was hauled in there on trucks. That cement was brought in there on trucks and lifted up with a hoist and they poured that cement in there that way. Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 17 Well, then after that was built—after that was all formed up, why, then they had to build another jumbo for the top. Or the arch jumbo, they called it. And that was all in there and—and most of that was blown in there, either pumped in their or blown in there to make a complete circle. And that was quite some project for four of them tunnels that had to be built up that same way. And how long were those tunnels there? Them tunnels were something over four thousand feet. Mm-hmm. Each one of them. That was a lot of cement. (Laughs) That was a lot of cement. And of course for every one of those jobs you put in pipe. We had to put in pipe and take it out and there was a lot of that pipe that was broken up and then shot up by shooting and trucks. There was quite a war going on here between the truck drivers and the miners and the pipefitters and everybody else. The truck drivers weren’t very popular around here. If we had a pipeline going along the side of the tunnel, it seemed like they would try their best to get that pipeline with one of the wheels. And they often—very often got it. Hm. And also— Well, you have to take that pipe out and put in a new pump. We’d have to take that pipe out and replace it. Huh. And a lot of times they would make a turnaround in there. Them tunnels were fifty foot in diameter. And they could turn around in their but they would have to go up the side of the wall a UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 18 little bit to go around. And we had the pipe fit—pipe up on the side of the wall, maybe five or six feet hanging on the walls, which we did most of the time. After we got going good, why they would try to go up and get that pipeline and I’ve seen ‘em go up high enough to get it, too. They would go up and use that pipeline as a bumper to turn their wheels, you know, to— Oh. (Unintelligible) But after that—the four tunnels on each side, that was quite a project and then later on, they got ready to divert the water around the dam. They had to go in and build some temporary Cofferdams and that kept water up and put it through two of these tunnels. What they call number three and number four tunnels. And number two and number three tunnels. And—then after the water was diverted around the dam, why, around the dam site, why when they went in and built their big coffer dam, one above and one below, the dam site. Mm-hmm. And well, then of course we had to go in there and pump all that water out of there. And after that was pumped out we had to keep it pumped out. There was always more or less seepage. And they had a lot of excavation down in there. We had to carry it in and install the pumps. Yes. Keep the pipelines, airlines, and water lines, down in there, and it was quite a project there. There were a lot of—must have been a lot of the pipefitters working on that. There was a lot of pipefitters. There was oh I suppose two or three hundred here at that— Oh my. At one time. Hm. And— UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 19 Were you the boss of all of them? No, no. (Unintelligible) I just had the one crew. Uh-huh. Yes. (Unintelligible) Spike Gergesene was the—was the (unintelligible) boss of all of them for a little while and then another man come in here and took over as a pipefitter foreman. Can’t remember his name right now. But he was a pipefitter for (unintelligible) for—for the most of the construction. Mm-hmm. After the cement was poured in the big tunnels and the water diverted through them for the Cofferdams. I might say, the Cofferdams had to be built one glove and one below the slight of the dam. And had backed the water up and backed it through the run ‘em through the two tunnels. Then we moved in and started excavation for the dam itself, at the dam site. And that muck all had to be hauled out of there. A lot of it had to be blasted. And the high scaling’s started on both sides of the dam. Clear from the top down. And they would shoot there nearly every day at noon there would be a shot or two put off in there. And we’d have pumps in their where they was excavating. And we’d have to move them pumps out. ‘Cause when they shot there that was—they just looked like the whole side of the canyon was coming in. Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 20 And everything had to be out of the way. Well, then as soon as the shot was over with, we’d have to go back in and set the pumps back in there. So that they would be dry for the workers in there. That went on for several weeks. Probably two or three months. Now those pumps were a pretty good size. I mean how many men did it take to lift them out and—? Well. We—some of them, we had to drag out with a truck or a CAT. And some of them were small enough that about four men could get ‘em out of there. But first we had to have an electrician go in and unhook ‘em for us. Hm. This was all twenty-three hundred volt of electricity. Mm-hmm. And we wasn’t allowed to do that with—we was afraid to do that, in fact, to be honest with you. Hm. But that electricity had to be unhooked, and then we had to unhook ‘em and take ‘em out of there. Some of them, sometimes we could cover ‘em up if they wasn’t too bad, too far away. This was— Now as this in the bottom of the riverbed, where the— Yes. Dam was about to rise? That would be— I see. Down in the bottom of the riverbed. Mm-hmm. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 21 And in the dam site itself. Yes. Uh-huh. And the (unintelligible) that stuff all had to be high scale before they could start the dam itself. All the lose rock had to be taken off. Mm-hmm. And that went on for a long time. Mm. Then finally, after that was cleaned out and the high scaling was done, we had to go in there and pump that water out that was way below the riverbed itself, down to seven hundred and six hundred feet to elevation. Down below six hundred foot elevation. To get down to— To get down to bedrock. Okay. That had to be clear down to bedrock for the dam itself. Hm. And of course we had to have pipelines for air and water both down in there for their drilling, and the cleaning up. And when they started pouring the cement. Why of course then we had to follow that right up with the pipelines and everything to give ‘em air and water, for their cement work. As soon as the dam was started, they had to put pipe in that dam that was such a big mass of concrete that it never would have cooled itself if they hadn’t of had refrigeration for it. Hm. The first thing they started to do was putting in cooling pipe in the dam itself and pumped refrigerated water through there. They had to pick a refrigeration plant there. They had to pick a UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 22 refrigeration plant there. I forget what they’ve done to (unintelligible) what it was (unintelligible) but it pumped ice water and then they pumped ice water (unintelligible) in the dam, every five feet, in all directions. This pipe was laid every five feet in altitude and height and they were five feet apart in the dam. And they pumped this refrigerated water through there for I think about thirty days till it was cooled. And then they kept on going up. As they went this was put in. And of course, they had to have grout pipe in there, too. That was put in the forums or between every forum. But what—? The forums was—the blocks was poured in blocks from, well, the biggest blocks was about fifty foot or fifty-five foot square. And they taper down at the lower end till about twenty or twenty-five foot square. And there had to be grout pipes in between every one of them, so that after the dam was poured in its trunk a little bit, why, these seams all had to be grouted. And that went on from top to—from the bottom, clear to the top. Now just what is grout? (Unintelligible) cement. Uh-huh. That’s cement without any sand or— Oh. Or gravel or anything else in it. And that is pumped in it at high pressure. Mm-hmm. And wherever there’s a crack, why, that cement will find it and it’ll stop all leaks. Uh-huh. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 23 And of course, that had to—that had to be—the dam had to be leak proof, when it was through. There were no leaks through the dam at all when it was finished. Mm-hmm. There was also a lot of grout pipe pumped in to the bottom of the dam after it was completed. They went in and drilled from the dam, from tunnels in the dam down into the—way down into the rock. Hm. And they grouted that, too. Mm. To stop any leakage from going around to the dam, way back around. Mm-hmm. And of course, they had to have water and air for their clean up and—and pour the cement and everything. So there was a lot of—a lot of pipework in the dam and on the outside of the dam, and once had to be taken care of. Mm. And that dam was many months being completed. And ‘course the pipefitters worked there from—from the word go. There was a slot of the center of it all that all of these pipes, this refrigerators water was taken into. And then, this—that was poured later on after this cooling pipe was all cooled, or else it couldn’t be taken out. That had to be just plugged up. They had to plug that up. And then this slot that they called it, it was an eight foot, eight foot in the center there. It had to be poured later on. Hm. It was. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 24 Well, now you said that it was cooled for thirty days. You mean, every block had—? Yes. Ice water going through it for thirty days? Yes. That’s right. Oh, my gosh! (Laughs) And after that— What a project. After a certain length of time, why, that was blocked off then. Yes. And then they could pour this slot up so far. Hm. But it had to stay behind the— Huh. The dam, for quite some time. And those pipes stayed in there, of course? Yes. Those pipes stayed in there. (Laughs) Can’t get ‘em out of the cement. No. There was no way of getting them out. Uh-huh. But—but they were—(unintelligible) there was miles and miles and miles of that grout. Yes. (Unintelligible) Uh-huh. UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 25 And also that—the regular grout pipe, too, the cooling pipe and the grout pipe both. Huh. And I believe it was later that that grout pipe was all grouted up. Oh, fill it up. That cooling pipe was all grouted shut, too, yes. Hm. They started in on one and pump it till it started coming out at their return pipe. Hm. That was all grouted there. And that’s all iron pipe? Yes. That was iron pipe, yes. Hm. Course that was a cheaper grade of iron pipe. Mm-hmm. It was (unintelligible) just an inch. There were no threads on that. Mm-hmm. Coupled up with a rubber hose. Hm. But it—it done the job. And you just carried that ice water for—(Laughs) Next I think we’ll talk something about the intake towers. There are four intake towers above the dam. They sit on an elevation. A nine hundred foot elevation. The dam was started at six hundred foot elevation. And then—so they were three hundred foot above the elevation of the dam. When UNLV University Libraries Neil H. Holmes 26 they come above the dam then, the elevation above the dam, probably thirty feet. But your water goes into them intake towers and goes around to the—to the units below, go down through a penstock tunnel, down to the units into the—in the powerhouse. It’s a thirty foot pipe goes out of that bottom of the intake towers down to the (unintelligible) of that thirty foot tower, there—thirteen foot. And they go in to the—to the power plant itself that turns the rollers. Turns the waterwheel that turns the rollers. It—that generate the power. There are thirteen—there are seven—fifteen, there’s fifteen units in there—large units that are generating power. There ar