Bishop - 2
(Samuel Addison Bishop, pictured)

Samuel Addison Bishop came to Owens Valley during the summer of 1861 after a 51 day trip from Fort Tejon. He made his camp at a location a short distance west and south of the present city of Bishop and later built a house at that location. He named his holdings the "San Francis Ranch." He was a Virginian, born in 1825; a California Forty-Niner; judge at Fort Tejon; and, partner of General Beale in the cattle business. His residence in Bishop was of a comparatively short duration and his closing years were spent in San Jose. Bishop Creek is also named after him.

All pictures and text on this page from "100 Years of Real Living" by the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, 1961, unless otherwise noted.
Thanks to Rich McCutchan for loaning me the out of date publication.


See USE NOTICE on Home Page.



 Chronological History of Owens Valley
by Al Gagnon



 
generator


An armature for one of the first generators in California Electric Power Company's Bishop Creek hydroelectric system being hauled by a 20 mule team.
(Calectric collection)

 redwood




Laborers at work on a redwood flowline which carried water from Bishop Creek to Plant #2. This picture was taken while the plant was still under construction.
(Calectric collection)

 oxen



Oxen being used in the logging operations at Sawmill Meadows west of Benton near Adobe Valley. The logs were used to provide timber for the mines located at Blind Springs Hill and elsewhere in Owens Valley .
(Douglas Robinson collection)
 owens valley






Inyo County map from the late 'teens and early 'twenties, before there was any U.S. Highway 395 on the western side of the valley. A time when names such as Poleta, Biglow, Black Canyon, Alvord, Elna, Citrus, Francis, and Owenyo actually meant something more than just a ghost of the past.
 



 pony express
clark


Rev. Andrew Clark: The first minister in Bishop. Andrew was born in Allegheny County, PA on July 14, 1832. During the Civil War he fought for the Union during the battle of Shiloh. In 1865 Andrew moved his family, by covered wagon to Owens Valley. He organized the first church society, the Baptist church, of any kind east of the Sierra Nevada in January of 1869. His long missionary trips north and south of Bishop originated the term "Gospel Swamp."



bank
Interior view of the Inyo County Bank (the "Watterson Brothers Bank").
[L to R]: Mark Q. Watterson, W.W. Watterson, A.D. Schively.

(Fred Steuttig collection)

chalfant
Willie (Bill) A. Chalfant .
(Elma Crosby collection)



hotel




The Valley View Hotel in Bishop.



Photocards courtesy of Rich McCutchan

main street bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA

bishop ca
Mount Tom - Bishop, CA

ellis motors

Ellis Motors - Bishop, CA

owens valley drug company

Owens Valley Drug Company - Bishop, CA

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Main Street - Bishop, CA

bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA

bishop 1915
Main Street - Bishop, CA - 1915

first national bank
First National Bank - Bishop, CA

Sierra Mill
Sierra Mill - Bishop, CA

ME Church
M. E. Church - Bishop, CA

apiary
Apiary - Bishop, CA

hauling wool

Hauling wool to the C. and C. Railroad in Laws, CA - Bishop, CA
L/R: John Barlow, Ben Barlow, Arthur Barlow, Algie Barlow, Dan Rupp, Bob Gish

bishop rodeo

Rodeo - Bishop, CA

bishop rodeo
Harold Cline on "High Jacker" at the Rodeo - Bishop, CA

tom mix

Tom Mix at the Rodeo - Bishop, CA

wilfred cline

Wilfred Cline on "I Be Dam" at the Rodeo - Bishop, CA

hauling hay
Hauling hay - Bishop, CA

rowan's thresher
Rowan's Thresher - Bishop, CA

binding grain
Cutting and binding grain - Bishop, CA

hay stack
Stacks of hay - Bishop, CA

hay harvesting

Cutting and bailing hay - Bishop, CA

hay bailing
Cutting and bailing hay - Bishop, CA

hay derrick
Moving hay derrick on the Watterson Ranch - Bishop, CA

hay tractor
Threasher tractor - Bishop, CA

hay cutters
Hay mowers - Bishop, CA

bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA

bulpit residence
Fred Bulpit's home - Bishop, CA

hauling something

20 Mule Team hauling a boiler - Bishop, CA - March 1915
Besides the mules in front of the boiler, there are four mules in the rear pushing the dynamo!

[The mule train is on Sierra Highway and TuSu Lane, looking north, taken from where the Chevron station is now. The Matlick house is on the left, and their old red barn is on the right behind the boiler (or water tank). Our (Coons Gallery) gallery is to the right of that, not yet built when this photo was taken. - Wynne Benti-Coons)]



boiler
20 Mule Team hauling a boiler - Bishop, CA - March 1915
Photo #2


20 animal team
20-mule team hauling something a dynamo - Bishop, CA - March 1915
There are also four mules at the rear pushing the dynamo!
bishop stagecoach
Stagecoach in Bishop, CA

bishop

Uncle George Dorn in the buckboard - Bishop, CA

bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA
bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA

bishop

Main Street - Bishop, CA

bishop

Splitting wood - Bishop, CA

bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA - 1908

bishop
Bishop, CA - 1914

herding sheep
Herding 3,000 sheep down Main Street - Bishop, CA

shearing sheep
Shearing sheep - Bishop, CA

bishop 1874
Main Street Bishop, CA - 1874

bishop flood
The great flood of 1914 - Bishop, CA

bishop
Jenks Autoline, high water - Bishop, CA

bishop flood

The great flood of 1914 - Bishop, CA

bishop flood
The great flood of 1914 - Bishop, CA


Rainbow Club 2nd annual trout banquet, 1922 - Bishop, CA

rainbow club
Raibow Club of Bishop, CA

bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA

chicken ranch
Smith - McQueen Chicken Ranch - Bishop, CA

septic tanks
Castner System of Septic Tanks - Bishop, CA
septic tanks
Castner System of Septic Tanks - Bishop, CA

bishop

East Line and north Main Street - Bishop, CA - 1917

bishop
Hauling grain to market - Bishop, CA

andrews camp
Women fishing at Andrews Camp - Bishop, CA

bishop
Main Street before 1917 - Bishop, CA

bi-plane
Christopherson Tractor Bi-Plane - Bishop, CA

ready for flight
Christopherson getting ready for his flight from Bishop to Lone Pine - Bishop, CA

bishop union high school
Bishop Union High School - Bishop, CA

bishop
Bishop, CA residents

bishop

Main Street - Bishop, CA

forbes residence
P.W. Forbes - Bishop, CA

branding
Branding cattle - Bishop, CA

roping steers
Roping steers during cattle branding - Bishop, CA

chalfant
W. A. Chalfant - Bishop, CA - circa 1907

mary forbes
Mary Forbes - Bishop, CA

bishop
Main Street - Bishop, CA

hotel istalia
Hotel Istalia - Bishop, CA

mother edgar
Mother Edgar and her "driving horse" - Bishop, CA - 1918

spray kinney
Spray Kinney - Bishop, CA

bishop
Bishop, CA

grain
Hauling grain to market - Bishop, CA

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Photographs and text courtesy Hal Eaton
I am pretty sure this is in Bishop when sports writer Charels E. Van Loan visited town. He died in 1919.

In 1915 Van Loan wrote a series of articles in the Saturday Evening Post called "Ghost Cities of the West" which included " Bad, b-a-d Bodie" which was the first mention of Bodie as a "ghost town" which is was not and gave the impression that is was deserted. Looters descended on homes of people that live there who returned to find their possessions pilfered. My father remembered visiting Bodie in mid-1920s and going to dances. My family made a visit to Bodie in 1932 and my uncle, Henry, wrote a nice article on the town published in the LA Times.

Van Loan's visit was in May of 1915, and was the four "Ghost Cities" Saturday Evening Post Articles were high influential in shaping Western historical fiction--the term quickly changed "Ghost Towns" and soon was the common phrase. Local Nevada papers did not like that he made so much stuff and label some still alive communities as such.
van loan

van loan

van loan

van loan

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Bishop photos courtesy of UCLA Digital Library Collections

bishop
El Camino Sierra Garage - Bishop, CA - 1913

bishop
L/R: Mertie West and Agnes Whitaker - 1940

bishop
First National Bank of Inyo County closes its doors - 1927

bishop
H. H. West giving water to George Watterson for his Buick - 1913

bishop
Forrest Whitaker's Ford and trailer parked at Paradise Camp at the foot of the Sherwin Grade on the return trip to Los Angeles from
Rock Creek - 1941

bishop
First National Bank of Inyo County closes its doors - 1927

bishop
L/R: Eler Cole digs for worms as, Al Schmitz and,
Charlie Stavnow watch - 1918

bishop
Main Street Bishop, CA - 1913

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new 08/21
Bishop resident and Hollywood actor - Elisha Cook (Cookie) Jr.
cook
cook

Vignettes from local folks that knew Elisha.

Toni StocktonBamer writes:
He would always go into McMurrays for a drink then head out. His station wagon would have at least 5 or more dogs inside of it.

Pat Houser writes:
Cookie was a special guy, if you didn't know who he was, you would never guess. I worked with his wife Peggy at Pioneer Hardware. Great lady, Cookie would stop by, they had stars in their eyes seeing each other. They were cute. Cookie would often take a bunch of kids up to Sabrina fishing, he even had his own little rock island they would go to. What a guy!

Sara Robinson writes:
Cookie was the first man I ever danced with. He taught me to jitterbug at a Bishop Community Theater cast party when I was 13.

Bailey Lee McRoberts writes:
I met him in the early 70s in bishop. My mom and dad drank beer with him at the bars in bishop and my mom worked with him as she was a waitress in bishop for many years!

Bob Graves writes:
As a summer worker for USFS in the early seventies, I used to enjoy the occasional chat and hearing Hollywood stories while sharing lunch with him at Lake Sabrina. Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, etc. were all his friends.

Ed Jones writes:
He was my mom’s landlord back in the early 1960s he and his wife lived in the house in the back and we lived in the front house. He was always very friendly and would regal us kids with his many stories about his years in show business. I still miss him to this very day.

Susan Shaw writes:
Cookie and his wife Peggy lived at Teacher's Point on Lake Sabrina during the summers. They brought kids up from Bishop to camp out with them. I loved to hang out at their camp the summer my family lived at Lake Sabrina Camp.

Sam McCay writes:
Remember Career Day at BUHS? Cookie was guest speaker for Mr. Benson’s theatre kids. I knew he was on campus because I spotted his car in the parking lot - that big pink 50’s land yacht with dog snot all over the windows.

Susan Story Harrelson writes:
I meet Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone in Cookie's driveway at his little house in Bishop. That's when I realized how short they both were. LOL .


cook

cook
Elisha Cook Jr.
(Photo courtesy of Joseph Warner)
cook

cook
Elisha Cook Jr. and Frances Underwood starring in "Her Unborn Child"
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Macro)

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Photos courtesy of Dorine Mathieu
bishop
French Laundry advertisement in the August 15, 1929 edition of the Inyo Register. The French laundry was located where Perry Motors was on Main Street.

bishop
Group of people with a great fishing catch - circa 1920s or 1930s

R/L (back row): ?, ?, ?, ?
R/L (front row): Grandfather Burgess, Grandfather John Mathieu Sr., Grandmother Berthe Burgess Mathieu, ?

The other folks may be a Galvan or a Springer


bishop
The French Laundry in Bishop advertising first class baths for 35 cents.
L/R: Leon Orcier, ? Arzul, unknown, Jacques Bayes, Auguste and Anna Cazassus, unknown

(Photo courtesy of Bertha Berges Gates)


bishop
Inside the French Laundry in Bishop in 1914.
L/R: Auguste and Anna Cazassus, Bertha Berges, two employees and a friend.

(Photo courtesy of Bertha Berges Gates)


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Cerro Gordo  

Early Big Pine  

More Early Bishop

 

Mary Austin

 

The Carson & Colorado Railroad in Owens Valley

 

 High Sierra Pack Stations


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This page was last updated on 05 September 2021


(Drawing by Ernest Kinney)