San Lucy District and the Painted Rock Dam

San Lucy District and the Painted Rock Dam

San Lucy District, a political subdivision of the Tohono O’odham Nation, was created by Executive Order in 1882 and originally encompassed 22,400 acres of land.

In 1960 the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the Painted Rock Dam on the Gila River. Both the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Corps assured the Nation flooding would not harm agricultural use of lands within the San Lucy District. However, 9,880 acres were rendered unusable for economic development purposes due to continual flooding in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Included among the destruction was a 750-acre farm that had previously provided tribal revenues. The loss of these lands forced tribal members to crowd into a 40-acre parcel of land.

Ruins on the San Lucy District created by flooding behind the Painted Rock Dam
Ruins on the San Lucy District created by flooding behind the Painted Rock Dam