Environmental History Seminar Engineering, Politics, and Dams: John R. Freeman and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Water Supply 12 November 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Donald C. Jackson, Lafayette College Conevery Bolton Valencius, Boston College Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Seminar_2019-2020//ehs_banner.jpg

San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Dam sparked one of America’s first great environmental controversies. This paper explores John R. Freeman’s work as a consulting engineer and his essential role in championing the city’s Sierra Nevada water supply. Freeman was among the most influential engineers of the Progressive Era and his technocratic vision underlay hydraulic projects throughout North America. For good or ill, Freeman’s vision has had a long and enduring legacy, not just for San Francisco but for dams and watersheds nationwide.