Thousands of workers came to the desert in search of construction jobs during the depression. There was no town nearby. Workers camps and bunkhouses developed. A rail line was built from Las Vegas to near the construction site to bring supplies.
Sadly, the construction contracts specified that no workers of Chinese heritage would be employed, and there were never more than 30 African-Americans among the approximately 5,000 workers, and they were confined to the lowest paid jobs and had to drink out of segregated water containers.
The heat along the Colorado River is hotter than the phoenix area because it is 1,000 feet (300 m.) lower in elevation. During the summer of 1931, the average daily high temperature at the construction site was 120 F (49 C), as the canyon walls reflect and radiate the sun's heat like the inside of a brick oven.
Check out beautiful travel photos of Villa Balbianello on Lake Como, Italy at Viva la Voyage!