Links: University Libraries, Contact Special Collections

Search Special Collections & Archives
Oral History Interviews Manuscripts Photo Collections University Archives  

Search Tips [more+]

Photo Collections Record

Ray Cutright Photograph Collection

Location: PC 05:B, PC Negatives Box 09, MC MS 01:D, PC Slides Binder

View select materials online

Collection Contents:

Folder 123-1

0001 [Las Vegas Wash area] from top of Fortification Mountain. (W.A. Davis photo)
0002 Aerial View of Las Vegas “taken in a clip wing Jenny. Date is winter of 1930. Plane had a wooden propeller open cockpit. Pilot had a contract with Bureau of Reclamation to fly aerial photos in had contract with Bureau of Reclamation to fly aerial photos in a grid. Too Wint (up in) plane this day because it was too windy (for the pilot) to take his regular aerials.” (James J. Hester, son-in-law of W.A. Davis (“Wint”), the photographer who took this. Note added 4-92)
0003 Aerial view of Las Vegas taken in the winter of 1930 (same day as #0123, 0003) in clip wing Jenny. Shows railroad and main street---essentially shows the whole city. (Credit: W.A. Davis)
0004 Aerial view of Las Vegas, NV. Note: “Shows stockyards and car shops. Creek is overflow from UP artesian well. Site of earliest ranch in area. Creek had mosquito minnows in it"a native species. Only source of water for Las Vegas. Water carried in 20=24’ wooden pipe” (James L. Hester, from W.A. Davis, photographer. April 1992)
0005 Aerial view of Las Vegas, probably winter of 1930. (Credit: W.A. Davis) (See photos 0002-0003)
0006 [Road wash out at 4 mile]
0007 [Car overturned at 4-mile by cloudburst flood, c. 1931-32] (Credit: W.A. Davis)
0008 [Las Vegas employment agency, 800 block of Fremont St.; Leonard Blood at one of the windows]
0009 “Prescott’s Hardwire Store in DeKalb, Illinois. Hole in window was where they stole guns and a steel trap. Wint. & policeman went out to the suspects house and later in the day they caught the thief. Elmer Larson was the policeman. In back of sporting goods store was a photo lab.” (Quote from Winthrop A. Davis, photographer, (“Wint”)
0010 Mrs. Richardson’s ranch house, Corn Creek Road, June 14, 1931. (More information on back of photo) (Credit: W.A. Davis)

Valley of Fire (and Lost City)

0011 Valley of Fire ---distant view of Adeline Rock. May 14, 1933. (Locus of petroglyphs) The county used to keep a barrel of water there to fill car radiators. (Credit: W.A. Davis)
0012 Valley of Fire"Treaty Pillar. (Credit: W.A. Davis, see note on reverse.)
0013 Bob Owens looking at bees in Valley of Fire. (He had a ranch northwest of Las Vegas and later became sheriff.) (Credit: W.A. Davis; he says the location is 3-4 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Info. Supplied 4/92.)


Valley of Fire (and Lost City) (cont.)

0014 [Site of reburial of a dozen or more skeletons found in the valley near the ruins of The Lost City Pueblo. Slabs of stones were placed at the head of each grave. (?) Back of photo identifies this as Valley of Fire. (Photographer W.A. Davis says this is not the Valley of Fire]
0015 Valley of Fire"Adeline Rock, May 14, 1933. (W.A.Davis photo)
0016 [Valley of Fire, Elephant Rock] May 14, 1933. (W.A.Davis photo)
0017 [Valley of Fire , petrified tree] (W.A. Davis photo)
0018 [Lost City House; original site of Indians, now under water.]
0019 Lost City, Nevada. Holes and stones were used to grind grains, etc. (Credit: W.A. Davis)

Boulder City

0020 “Building Boulder hi-way 1931, Mahoney and Cline contractors”
0021 “Boulder City at its “beginning” [c. 1933] (Credit: W.A. Davis. He says “Taken from top of ridge near Railroad Pass. City is completed: water tower, school, railroad, Reclamation Building.”)
0022 [Dormitories, camp for engineers completed. Beginnings of streets and homes of Boulder City, NV. Photo taken from “water tower hill”]
0023 [Corner of Nevada Hwy, and Government Park, Boulder City, NV.] (Homes for engineers.” W.A. Davis)
0024 [Street construction in Boulder City, NV. Dormitories in background]
0025 [Constructing street in Boulder City, NV. Cement mixer was run by cable, by hand]
0026 [Building houses in Boulder City, NV. This is a power saw run by gasoline engine.] (Foo’s engine” W.A. Davis, photographer.)
0027 [Trench for sewer line; homes in Boulder City, NV; water tank in background.] (“Six Companies’ houses” W.A. Davis)
0028 [Backfilling sewer trench in Boulder City, NV]
0029 “Filling sewer trenches Boulder City, NV
0030 [Building the water tower, Boulder City, NV]
0031 [Building water tower, Boulder City, NV] (“Leveling sand dunes west of water tower.” W.A. Davis)
0032 [Administration Bldg. Boulder City NV] (Bureau of Reclamation Building. W.A. Davis)
0033 [Building of Reclamation nearly completed. Water tank in distance. Boulder City, NV. C. 1935)
0034 [Water treatment plant and tank, Boulder City, NV]


Boulder City (cont.)

0036 [Temporary engineer’s camp for dam workers; Nevada highway coming in from Las Vegas at left; hill known as ‘water tower hill’]
0037 [Tent camp for engineers for the dam, road from Las Vegas at left, road to McKeeversville at right. C. 1931)
0038 [Tents for workers, and temporary engineer’s camp, Boulder /City, NV. c.1933]
0039 [Camps in foreground, dormitory being built, upper right.] (“ with double roof to control heat inside.” W.A. Davis)
0040 [Dormitory Bldg. In construction for workers; RR ties in foreground]
0041 [Engineer’s camp in Boulder City. Horses in foreground making road, c. 1933]
0042 “Transport busses to haul workmen to Dam from Boulder City.” [Warehouse in background]
0043 [Babcock & Wilcox plant under construction, Boulder City, NV]
0044 [Babcock & Wilcox plant, Boulder City, NV] (Photo taken before plant was in operation"W.A. Davis)
0045 [Men Boring hole into ground. Warehouse, RR tracks, dorm in background; Boulder City, NV]
0046 Water tank gravel plant at head of Hemenway Wash. (Nov. 8, 1931) Clarified water from river was then pumped up to Boulder City. (Credit: W.A. Davis) (According to W.A. Davis, this settling basin was for water purification.)
0047 [Setting basin for making concrete, upstream from the Dam about 5-10 miles. R.R. track may have crossed over to Arizona.]
0048 [Tent camps for people waiting for work at the Dam. Just before Railroad Pass.]
0049 [Looking towards Railroad Pass.]

Hoover (Boulder) Dam

0050 [Colorado River area?] W.A. Davis disagrees with the identification. He says, “Hills west (10 miles) of Las Vegas, Charleston range in background. Petroglyphs on the rocks, Rocks are red and yellow.
0051 [Colorado River area]
0052 [Colorado River area]
0053 [Proposed dam site in Black Canyon, looking upstream]
0054 Black Canyon, Hoover Dam site, NV. “Gauging station on Arizona wall to gauge depth and floor. At dam site.”
0055 Black Canyon, Hoover (Boulder ) Dam site; Arizona wall gauging station for river depth.]
0056 [Cutting a road about 3 ½ miles above the Dam site.]
0057 [Cutting a road about 3 ½ miles above the Dam site; here dynamiting rock]
0058 [Cutting a road about 3 ½ miles above the Dam site; McKeeversville camp in background]


Hoover (Boulder) Dam (cont.)

0059 [ R.G. Le Tourneau, contractor, equipment building road to Dam.] [Big cut on road to dam from V.C. R.G. Le Tourneau Contractor; that carryall is the #1 of his earth movers.”]
0060 [Power shovel building road to the Dam.]
0061 [Building highway from Boulder City, NV to the Dam. RG. Le Tourneau had highway contract]
0062 [Power shovel cutting approach to lower end of diversion tunnels.]
0063 [Power shovel] Cutting approach to lower end of diversion tunnels]
0064 [Plant where gravel was washed, Nevada side.] (Under construction)
0065 [Plant where gravel was washed, Nevada side.] (Completed plant)
0066 “Bridge to gravel pit from Nevada to Arizona about 10 miles up from dam.”
0067 [Hoover (Boulder) Dam site, looking down at high mix plant location (?)
0068 [Starting to build one of the two high cement mix plants.] [Transport cars used to transport small quantities of tools and supplies]
0069 [Water tanks and upper batch plant for cement]
0070 [Water pump for upper batch plant for cement.]
0071 [Pump used to get water to upper batch plant.]
0072 [Extension of water pipe to upper batch plant]
0073 [Lower mix plant for concrete]
0074 [Pump station, lower batch plant (?)]
0075 [ Pump station, lower batch plant interior]
0076 “Showing the control room in mixing plant where all concrete is mixed for diversion tunnels. A complete record is made by graph of each batch of concrete mixed”
0077 [Interior of water treatment plant in Boulder City. E. Patrick 3-7-85]
0078 [Portion of railroad going to Dam?]
0079 [Railroad materials (?) on road, Fortification Hill in background. Truck-Nevada Transportation Co., owned by Shorty Griffith (?)]
0080 [Rail car on end of track, c. 1931] Note: Crane lifted rails but men carried ties.
0081 [Trucks dumping muck into RR cars.]
0082 Looking upstream before coffer dam was started; diversion tunnels cut and suspension foot bridge completed.]
0083 [Blasting rock upstream of Dam site. Note suspension foot bridge and larger, small truck bridge]
0084 [Close-up of suspension bridge across Colorado River] Nov. 7, 1931.
0085 [Blasting at noon-time, Hoover (Boulder) Dam site before coffer dam was built]
0086 [Blasting rock at noon-time, everyday, to put anchors in place. Note cameraman in foreground.]
0087 [Blasting rock at noon-time, everyday, to put anchors in place. Note cameraman in foreground]

Hoover (Boulder) Dam (cont.)

0088 [Blasting rock at noon-time, everyday, to put anchors in place. Overhead cables used to transport materials and men from top of canyon to basin.]
0089 [Colorado River; Black Canyon before Dam construction] This is the signal man for on of the hi-lines. He could see the whole scene. He signaled operator what to do]
0090 [Colorado River before diversion tunnels.]
0091 “Downstream dumps for tunnel muck; carried from river to dump.” [Hoover (Boulder) Dam, NV.]
0092 [Looking upstream before the coffer dams were in; Nevada side on left. Note work boat on Arizona side, carrying dynamite batteries from above dam to dam site.]
0093 [Starting to build the coffer dam. Bridge used to dump load after load of rock into river.]
0094 [Before completion of coffer dam. Bridge used to dump load after load of rock into river.]
0095 [Looking downstream at coffer dam and diversion tunnels.]
0096 [Coffer dam (upper one), ¼, ½ mile upstream from Dam site] Dec. 25, 1932.
0097 [Looking upstream at coffer dam and nearly completed diversion tunnel"Arizona side on right.]
0098 [Canyon basin just before ‘drying up’.] “Getting ready to dry up bottom of canyon.]
0099 [ Colorado River drying up after coffer dam was built.]
0100 [Black Canyon; excavation for dam construction.]
0101 [ Working at Hoover (Boulder) Dam] Water pump and power shovel.
0102 [Black Canyon bottom, before Hoover (Boulder) Dam construction] “Showing keys in wall, and adit tunnel entrance.”
0103 [Looking upstream at dam site; water running downstream thorough diversion tunnels.]
0104 [Black Canyon basin, almost down to bedrock.]
0105 [Bedrock base of canyon, and first forms poured for Dam.]
0106 [Skip load of men being lowered into canyon]
0107 “Man riding cable hook to Colorado River basin, above No. 3 and 4 tunnels. May 9, 1933]
0108 [Welding/Blacksmith shop, Arizona side (?)]
0109 [Welding/Blacksmith shop at end of diversion tunnel, downstream side, sharpened drill bits, made of tie bolts.]
0110 [High scalers and beginnings of penstocks.]
0111 [High scalers on canyon walls: Hoover (Boulder) Dam, NV)
0112 [Hi-scalers, Hoover (Boulder) Dam ] “Hi-Scalers. I personally landed a boat load of dynamite at that sand beach one hot summer day in 1933.”
0113 [ Starting pilot tunnel, done before diversion tunnel.]

Hoover (Boulder) Dam (cont.)

0114 [Starting pilot tunnel, done before diversion tunnel.]
0115 Timbered tunnel (Lewis Construction Co.) in canyon wall for railroad to dam site. May 22, 1931. (“Near Hemenway Wash” W.A. Davis , photographer, 1992)
0116 [Canyon Wall and beginning of diversion tunnel]
0117 [Truck hauling muck out of diversion tunnel]
0118 [Looking out of diversion tunnel, diameter ’56 or more, inside finish 50’]
0119 [Area where water broke through small coffer dam by diversion tunnel after flood.]
0120 [Diversion tunnels after the flood, Hoover (Boulder) Dam.]
0121 [Diversion tunnel after flood]
0122 [Upstream end of diversion tunnel after spring flood.]
0123 [Downstream end of diversion tunnel after spring flood.] Pumping out the water.
0123 [Downstream end of diversion tunnel after spring flood.]
0124 Interior No.4 tunnel. Nov. 7, 1931
0125 [Looking into diversion tunnel. Dec. 25, 1932. (Rig. Inside)
0126 [Building the diversion tunnel, Hoover (Boulder) Dam.] “Jumbo in place"trimming hole.” W.A. Davis, 1992
0127 [Constructing diversion tunnels, upstream end?, Hoover Dam.] Setting up frames for trash racks.
0128 Outside of diversion tunnel No.2"shows side walls and jumbo inside. “The side wall forms were then put in there place and section after section side wall poured. Center is slip form.”
0129 [Placing concrete liner in diversion tunnel, 3’ thick. First pour base, then sides, then ceiling.]
0130 [Diversion tunnel, partially finished with concrete liner. Tunnel over 1 mile long]
0131 Diversion Tunnel No. 3 nearly completed. Sept. 1, 1932. (“Asphalt visible on ceiling. Fill on Floor & rails have to be removed prior to use for water diversion. Tunnel is completed except for fill removal.” W.A. Davis, 1992.
0132 [Diversion tunnel construction, Hoover (Boulder) Dam.]
0133 [Diversion tunnels still under construction, but in use; Hoover (Boulder) Dam
0134 “Nevada side lower diversion tunnel exits.” Hoover (Boulder)Dam, NV.
0135 [Diversion tunnels still under construction, but in use; Hoover (Boulder) Dam.]
0136 “Diverting the river, Arizona side, tunnel no.3 [Water tore out part of the face of diversion tunnel.]
0137 [Site of Arizona spillway, Hoover (Boulder) Dam.]
0138 [Spillway, Hoover (Boulder) Dam]
0139 [Spillway, with water, Hoover (Boulder) Dam.] Sometime after 1934.
0140 [Spillway, Hoover (Boulder) Dam.]
0141 [Mule on road to where power substation was being built]
0142 [Road near dam power substation]


Hoover (Boulder) Dam (cont.)

0143 “This is where the Nevada sub-station is. Compressor was carried in pieces by the mules and reassembled.” [c.1932]
0144 [Building site of sub station. Air compressor on right; tripod w/large jackhammer, upper left, to drill holes.]
0145 [Completed power substation; Tents for workers, c. latte 1934-1935.]
0146 “Schwartz boat landing, 3mi. upstream from Dam.” [Also Cashman landing]
0147 [Diagram of log holes, Hoover (Boulder) Dam]
0148 [Engineer’s rendering of Hoover (Boulder) Dam]
0149 [Artist’s conception of completed Hoover (Boulder) Dam]
0150 [Boat Ray Cutright used to carry passengers up and down Colorado River, 1931. Boat had burned day after Washington’s Birthday, 1931.]
0151 [Trucks ready to haul material out of canyon to fill coffer dam. Nevada side ½ mile upstream from Dam site.]
0152 [Jumbo rig with 30-40 jackhammers to make holes for blasting.]
0153 [Jumbo rig. [“First operation"Giant Jumbo’s whose steel frames rested on International trucks backed up to tunnel headings and with those 20 pneumatic drills soon bored the holes for the giant sticks of powder.”
0154 [Earthmover run by cable.]
0155 [Power shovel built by G.E. LeTourneau being unloaded from R.R. car before starting tunnel roads.]
0156 “c. March 6, 1931 Cable breaks” [Cable on earth shovel broke]
0157 [Air compressor used on road ; R.J. Le Tourneau built and owned equipment. Jackhammer is modern version.]
0158 [Air compressor, Nevada site.]
0159 [Cement mixer at Dam] (This is just a model of a cement mixer.)
0160 [Road to McKeeversville camp by Colorado River.]
0161 Ragtown, 1931
0162 Ragtown, 1931
0163 [Willamsville"government town] “Williamsville down by the river; just over the tent is the island you see now.”
0164 [Fort Callville on left; going upstream near end of Colorado River in the distance.]
0165 “Fort Callville, now under water.”
0166 Old mining town of Oatman , Arizona in the center, 10 to 15 miles form Kingman. Used to be on the road to Kingman. May 17, 1931



0167 [Queho’s grave site on Arizona side of Colorado River, Fortification Mt . Not correct . Queho’s remains were found in Nevada] W.A. Davis” Gyp Cave"winter of 1931 or 32.”
0168 “Moapa Valley meeting of the board. I believe they signed the agreement for the buyout of St. Thomas. Final Settlement between town next to St. Thomas"Overton. “W.A. Davis, photographer, 4/92. [Original caption by Cutright: Signing contract for Boulder Dam with Wix Co., Inc. in Federal Building in Las Vegas.]
0169 “Photo taken in same office as #0168. Cutright caption is incorrect. Photo taken by Ullom.” W.A. Davis, 1992 [Original caption by Cutright: Wilbur Mills ? signing part of the contract [for dam], at 6 Co. Office.]
0170 Movie crew filming (off Tonopah Road near the base of Sheep Mountain). Taking a break during filming. (Oct. 27, 1931) Man seated at table is actor John Boles. (E.D. by W. A .Davis, April 1992)
0171 Miner’s camp at base of Sheep Mountain where move crew is taking a lunch break during filming. (Oct. 27, 1931) “The five men on the left were miners, then Charlie Mason (movie producer) and his wife. John Boles on right holding pick.” (John Boles was a popular leading man in the 1930s and 1940s) E. Patrick 7-13-82)
0172 [Men outside tents they lived in while waiting for jobs on the Dam]\
0173 [Junction of Salt Lake RR at Boulder Junction. Ray Lyman Wilbur driving silver spike, Sept. 17, 1930]
0174 [Meyers Mine?] Oct. 25, 1931. [Near Dam site?]
0175 [Hikers in Black Canyon (?), below Hoover (Boulder) Dam.] Note: “Cutright caption is incorrect. Lady in photo is Norma Ullom, Lawrence Ullom also theirs that day. Location is in the Valley of Fire.” W.A. Davis, April 1992.
0176 Hunting in Black Canyon, below Hoover (Boulder) Dam; had to go by boat into Black Canyon. The hunter is Captain Ayers who was hunting for bighorn sheep. (note: “Cutright caption, above, is incorrect. Ayers in photo, day out hunting bighorn sheep”.
Side Canyon east of Boulder city. Also hunting was Murl Emory’s son.” W.A. Davis April 1992
0177 Boles mine showing vein of quartz. Oct. 27, 1931.
0178 [In mine shaft on Sheep Mountain.]
0179 [Mine Shaft, Sheep Mountain]
0180 [Mine and owner, Sheep Mountain]
0181 [Mine entrance on Sheep Mountain]
0182 Grave"Miners monument"Kingman Wash. “Joseph Heber Richards, June 18---1917.”
0183 [C.N. Cross’ mining claim] Jan. 26, 1929. (Now an island in the lake. (W.A. Davis photo)



0184 [Clouds; unidentified location] W.A. Davis: “Mount Charleston’.
0185 Mount Charleston, looking west from Las Vegas. (i.d. supplied by W.A. Davis, April 1992)
0186 “Joshua trees and cactus near Searchlight.” (Dry lake in background.)
0187 Joshua forest near Searchlight.
0188 School at St. Thomas, later flooded by the reservoir , c. 1934. (W.A. “Wint” and Elsie Davis were married here in 1930)
0189 Boulder City, Nevada of 1933, panorama.
0190 Colorado River just before it enters Black Canyon, panorama.
0191 Looking upstream at dam site, January 1933
0192 Looking upstream from Arizona canyon wall, January 1933
0193 Hoover (Boulder) Dam construction, early evening view, panorama, November 1933

In March, 1981 Ray Cutright and his wife, Nevada, traveled to Las Vegas from their home in Loveland, Colorado. While here they donated the photographs in the collection. Mr. Cutright Bennett. When he retuned to Colorado, Mr. Cutright recorded his reminiscences on tape about running guideboats on the Colorado River in 1931. The tape of these recollections has been deposited in Special Collections.
After he quit running boats in 1931, Mr. Cutright worked at Anderson Brothers (food concessionaires) at their river camp in Boulder City for about two months. He noted that Anderson Brothers used a carload of eggs a day and that they cooked corn and beans in 30-gallon garbage cans. Their river camp was smaller than the one in Boulder City, upstream form the dam. Some meals were cooked there, however.
Cutright stated that workers on the damp construction worked for eight housrs straight with no coffee breaks, then they were relieved by another worker so that work continued on a 24 hour basis. Some workers chose to live closer to dam construction than in Boulder City. The “lower camp” was in the river basin. Men came to the site who had never met before but lived together in tents while they tried to get work.
He noted that Merle Emery had two boats and that Captain Ayres who he worked for also had two used for guide work on the river. He stated that they only operated for a short time. (Why?)

Additions to specific photographic documentations

0007 Washout of road at 4-mile. The washout was under the bridge. It was called 4-mile because it was four miles from Fremont Street. There was a sporting house there called Blue Heaven which was nice for that time period.

0068 There were tow concrete mixing plants, one at the river and one high plant at sharp    bend in water.
0079 Trucking companies had grandfather rights; prior to the ICC, two-three transportation companies hauled anything and everything. With ICC, new companies couldn’t haul everything so that they paid the grandfathered companies for the right haul.
0095 A practice run was held to run all the river through the Arizona side. Outside concrete block was lowered hydraulically to shut water off. Inside tunnel water provided to powerhouse.
(119-123) A spring flood washed out a portion of the diversion dam at the entrance to a diversion tunnel.
0158 Almost all equipment for construction was on the Nevada side of the river as were the railroad tracks and roads. Headstocks on Nevada side.

Mr. Cutright stated that on September 30, 1935 the Dam was full and running over. The lake was filled to test the penstocks and spillways.