Memorial to Hoover Dam Dead
Boulder City, Nevada
Like most massive, early 20th century construction projects in treacherous terrain, men died at Hoover Dam. Lots of men. They fell from sheer rock faces, drowned in water, succumbed to dynamite explosions and equipment accidents. It took five years, from 1930 to 1935, to create the 726 ft. tall structure that created a recreational lake and continues to provide electricity to millions.
According to official accounts, no worker was ever lost to a concrete pour -- it was only done 2 inches at a time, with lots of workers watching each other for trouble. While no one is buried at the dam (except, perhaps, a certain mascot dog?), a memorial was constructed to remember the 96 men tallied as industrial fatalities.
A low-relief panel by sculptor Oskar J. W. Hansen, dedicated in 1935, shows a naked male emerging from waves in front of the dam. A thunder cloud spits lightning bolts, stalks of grain sprout, and fruits and vegetables flourish. The monument states: "They died to make the desert bloom."