San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

SMC Places: Crystal Springs Dam

On Jan 11, a rainbow shone down on the opening of the new section of the Crystal Springs Trail and the reopening of the road across the Dam.  Some five years later than scheduled, the wait was worth it.  No more transmission lines marring the view and a new parking area, overlooking memorials to those who lived in the area.

Constructed across San Mateo Creek,  Crystal Springs Dam was one of the first gravity dams built in the western United States.  Designed by  Hermann Schussler, the chief engineer for the Spring Valley Water Company, it was unique in that none of the horizontal or vertical joints match up. Originally completed in 1888, the block by block cement construction and strict standards set by Schussler withstood the 1906 and the 1989 earthquakes with no damage.  Upon completion it held nearly 60K acre feet of water. 

San Francisco Chronicle 3 Jul 1871

The planning for Crystal Springs began  in the 1870s and  on 5 Sep 1874 The San Francisco Chronicle reported the sale of the possessions of the Crystal Springs Hotel.  On 21 Sep 1883 the San Francisco Bulletin reported on a visit by the SF Board of Supervisors to the Lakes to learn about the Water companies upcoming project.


Crystal Springs Reservoir - Wikipedia
Crystal Springs Dam Bridge Reopened - San Bruno Patch This article provides a good history of the original dam and of the renovation work.

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