Virtual Tour | Stop 6

the 1900’s and beyond

The Roosevelt Dam was built in the Tonto Basin because ranchers and farmers concerned about flooding and droughts went to Washington to convince President Theodore Roosevelt to build it there, using their properties as leverage. This resulted in the Reclamation Act; the dam was one of the first projects commissioned. It was the largest masonry dam ever built. The stones you see in the photo were hand cut out of the canyon. It was dedicated in 1911 before AZ was a state. In 1996, the dam was covered in concrete making it thicker and taller. Inside the museum, you will see the Telescope donated by Dr. Charles Juels. He moved to Fountain Hills in retirement and pursued his hobby of stargazing in his backyard using his Telescope. He discovered 300 new asteroids, one of which is named “Fountain Hills”. We are a “dark skies community”.

“Beginning January 8, 2018, the Town of Fountain Hills, Arizona was awarded the rare distinction of being designated an International Dark Sky Community by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA). It is one of only two International Dark Sky Communities located near a major metropolitan area. In total, only 16 communities in the world have previously earned this prestigious designation.” (Experience Fountain Hills)

“Roosevelt Dam is on the Salt River near Phoenix AZ. It was built in 1911 and has been upgraded since then. The arch shape is common in dams because it is very strong. Note how the water is being held back by the top of the arch.” (USGS)

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Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash