Photo of the Week
July 13, 2003

This week's photo is one that has cleared up a question that has been in my mind for many years. What was in that area across from Gamboa where pilings are still standing today? (See below)  I came across this old photo showing what was in this area.  I don't have a date for this photo, but you can see, it was probably prior to Gamboa being built, as there is no Gamboa Road showing between the railroad tracks and pump station.  The large white building is the Gamboa pump station where water was taken from the Chagres Reiver and pumped to Miraflores Water Filtration Plant.  The item of real interest in this photo is the large industrial looking area with all the railroad track.  I have looked in several of my books and haven't found anything about this operation, but I did get information from one of my historian contacts "in the know".   According to my contact, barges were loaded up river with river rock gravel by a dredge.  The barges were tied up to the river bank near the large structure and off loaded.  The gravel was then loaded into railroad gondolas and taken to where ever it was needed for construction purposes.  (Also, click the link below - post publishing information) Chagres river rock was the best for mixing with cement.  I you ever lived in one of the early Canal Zone houses made with this cement and tried to drill a hole, forget it!

Click here for documentation submitted by Bill Fall from official reports.

Another piece of our Canal Zone history.

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