1926 Bishop



All pictures and text on this page from the October 1991 issue of "The Album" by Jane Fisher
unless otherwise note.
Thanks to Rich McCutchan for loaning me his copies of "The Album"





The infamous Watterson Bank

Watterson Bank

Watterson Bank

The Inyo County Bank stood on the northwest corner of Main and Academy Streets. Across the street was the "Watterson Hardware Store. The hard-tired, all purpose pickup truck was used by merchants all over town for many years. Here the Hardware Store is preparing to deliver sacks of coal to its many customers who used coal rather than the expensive wood for their stoves.
[photo - Ernie Kinney Collection]



 As I Saw It
(Sam Newlan: An Owens Valley Life)

by Iri Newlan



Bishop

The "Big Flood" of 1936.

[Curtis Phillips photo]



Parade in downtown Bishop.

[Curtis Phillips photo]

Bishop Flood




1926 Bishop

Looking south on Main Street at the Hotel Istalia in 1926. A couple of years after this photo was taken, the hotel was destroyed by fire. The space is now occupied by a Von's market.

[Ernie Kinney Collection photo]



The First National Bank building on the corner of Main and East Line streets. The store in the center, to the right of the sports runabout racer, became Detrick Drugstore. To the far left of the two Indian ladies on the curb is the new post office.

[Ernie Kinney Collection photo]


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1920s bishop
Bishop - Circa 1920s

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new
bishop
Bishop - snowed in!
(Photo - Eastern California Museum)
long valley camera crew
1920s Metro camera crew in Long Valley
(Photo courtesy Hal Eaton)

hal eaton

1928 - Eaton Ranch in Long Valley
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

on the road

On the road in the 1920s
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

Fatty Arbuckle

Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle making the first feature film (The Round Up)
in Lone Pine just north of the Dow Villa Hotel on the El Camino Sierra - 1920
(Photo and text courtesy of Page Williams)

hal eaton
This boy (born in 1920) posed as a cinematographer on his father's ranch though he preferred riding horses and hanging out with the cowboys in Long Valley. He came back years lagter as a physician reading x-rays and delivering babies in Mammoth, Crowley, Bishop, Lone Pine, and Tonapah. His first month in family practice he delivered 30 babies. Later he was the Inyo Mono County Health Officer.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

election day parade

Election Day Parade in Bishop. One of the signs reads - "We are the Men and Women of the Future - Give Us a Chance."
(Text and Photo courtesy of Inyo County Sesquicentennial)
(Eastern California Museum Collection )
hotel istalia
Hotel Istalia (circa 1920) - Bishop, CA
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

tobacco flat
Tobacco Flat cowboys - Long Valley
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

el camino sierra

The El Camino Sierra from Big Pine to Bishop - early 1920s
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

bishop

Bishop in the 1920s (?)
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)
paiute indian
Quesso, Paiute Indian, circa 1920
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

owens valley
Owens River Canal Company Stock Certificate
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

bishop
Bishop
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

eaton ranch
Movie making on the Eaton Ranch in Long Valley - mid 1920s
(Text and Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)


paiute

Helen Eaton Armstrong held an event to raise money for the local Paiutes (1930s) and attract tourists as work on the ranches diminished. Whitmore was a real hot springs up until the 1960s.

(Text and Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

fred eaton
Fred Eaton about time he was no longer Superintendent of the LA City Water Company telling people to only water early in the morning and late at night and became the LA Surveyor and City Engineer making the streets run North/South. He built the first electric railroad, one of the first in the US, and then went on to design the sewer outfall though politicians balked at the cost for a few years. He built a lot of the parks here. During the depression following the Panic of 1893 he worked for free to mobilize the unemployed who were paid to build Elysian Park. He ran for LA Mayor defeating Mayor Pinkie Snyder who was a shoe salesman. Eaton integrated the Los Angeles police and fire department, but when he decided not to run again Pinkie got re-elected and segregated them again. That year Fred said he was thankful he was no longer Mayor of LA. He spent months in the desert mapping the route of the future Los Angeles aqueduct coming back to LA sunburned. He told the newspaper he was hunting for gold mines. Looks like cousin Joe in this picture.

(Text and Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

hal eaton
Somewhere in Long Valley, perhaps Whitmore
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

crooked creek

Crooked Creek Canyon in Long Valley - 1904
[W.T. Lee Collection at USGS]
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

fred eaton
Heading back up to Long Valley though, though running late. In the end Fred Eaton was right about the dam not leaking, and Mulholland well that is another story. The old engineer's saying "you pay me now, or you pay me later--but it will cost a whole lot more." Our grandfather, Harold, the secret agent in the Owens Valley got his cattle ranch, never went back to complete one semester for his Stanford engineering degree, living his life as a cattleman and developer in the Eastern Sierra. His foresight in land and water rights enabled not only the modern City of Los Angeles but also helped his descendants to go to Stanford and the UCs and grow-up in the Eastern Sierra.

(Text and Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

burdick eaton
Burdick “Bud” Eaton was a young boy when his father, Fred Eaton, pursued bringing Eastern Sierra waters to the Coast and as a young man in Big Pine worked on low-water intensive poultry farming for his father, Fred Eaton--something that would be viable for the Owens Valley situation until the mines closed and the railroad jacked up the rates to LA.
Burdick Eaton was always his own man and married Helen Smith daughter of Walter Smith of the Fish Springs Ranch just south of Big Pine and went to Los Angeles as the City excluded the Eaton’s perhaps due to Mulholland’s personal issues with the Eaton family, but not Bud.
Bud went to Throop Institute, now Cal Tech, and then took a job with the Los Angeles Electric Railroad in 1913. His father, Fred Eaton, had built the first Los Angeles electric rail in 1888 and later constructed much of the early system replacing cable cars as a civil engineer. Bud and his wife Nell also served in World War I doing engineering and nursing before returning to Los Angeles. For over thirty years Bud Eaton was the engineer responsible for all the rail tracks, bridges, and buildings of the Los Angeles Electric Railway. At times he had the job of replacing or reworking rail intersections in Los Angeles that his father had built many years before. Bud Eaton managed an engineering staff of over a hundred which oversaw hundreds of miles of track. The lines were converted to gasoline bus lines and Bud saw much of his professional life’s work eliminate before Los Angeles finally realized what they lost and are returning the lines with the Metro Rail.
Bud Eaton, Fred Eaton’s son, worked with the LADWP on a daily business insuring that lines and pipes did not interfere during digging. He served as an intermediary between the City and the Eaton’s. The City would not negotiate or go to arbitration or condemnation. Unfortunately, bad engineering on the City’s part led to deaths of hundreds of innocent people. Burdick was able to escape much of this but did his part to do the right thing for both Los Angeles and Owens Valley.

(Text and Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

helen eaton
Aunt Helen Louise Eaton Ridenbaugh Armstrong oldest child of Fred Eaton around 1900 when she was a local actress in Los Angeles. As a teen she accompanied her Dad in 1893 to the top of Mt. Whitney in the Owens Valley where realized that you could take the excess waters flowing into the salt lake entirely by gravity using canals and pressurized pipes--230 miles and down hill all the way. Later in 1906 she accompanied her father and representatives to the White House to gain approval for the project from Teddy Roosevelt who Helen later described as a "hairy man." She moved up to the Owens Valley and ran the Whitemore Hot Tubs Plunge in Mono County for Summer guests overlooking Long Valley. Her father built the large swimming pool, now gone. The current Whitmore Pool is nothing like the real hot springs that was open until the early 1960's. After William Mulholland was fired or resigned in disgrace in 1929, the LADWP did minor things to help some of the Eatons such as buying Helen's fully furnished house in Big Pine after she married Fred Armstrong and gave it rent free to the head of the department J. E. Phillips to live in. The accountant made the comment "it might be of interest to the taxpayers of Los Angeles, if the knew that officials of the Department of Water and Power were expending monies of said Department for the purchase of piano and radio and other personal property." The inventory included things like Stickley chairs and things that today are valuable antiques. Helen later ran a Chinese-Mexican restaurant in Bishop called "Helen's Little Cafe."

(Text and Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)


hal eaton

100th Anniversary of the original 1913 Owens Valley Aqueduct PR opening (using local rainwater back then) is next Tuesday at the Cascades in the SFV. In memory of this, here is picture of a teenage Harold C. Eaton, a Stanford engineering freshman, and his father, Los Angeles Mayor Fred Eaton, in July of 1900 in the Sierra as part of the US Geological Survey run by Joseph Barlow Lippincott. Though in no sense modern environmentalists, a small group of engineers and explorers who loved the mountains following the ideas of the great John Wesley Powell chose to determine the future of the American West on their own, for their own reasons, based on science and reality. The LA capitalists and LA politicians had nothing to do with it. Politics and bad engineering by the City perverted Fred and Harold's work which balanced Owens Valley and Los Angeles interests. The Eaton’s and many others vision remains and this is why today’s Los Angeles exists, as perhaps a bit more than as minor anus on a desert map of the World, and also the reason you should go skiing in Mammoth soon or visit next Spring and experience the beauty of the Eastern Sierras.
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)
paiute mothers
Paiute mothers "Baby Show"
(Harry W. Mendenhall photo)

bishop
Bishop
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

inyo mono vo
American Legion 40 and 8 train of Bishop, CA.
The "train" used to be parked behind GF Bulpitt Part. It was used in parades and at special times like Christmas to take kids out to the airport to see Santa, It was driven like a regular engine on roads.
Voiture is the French word for car.
(Inyo County sesquicentennial photo)
(Text courtesy of Diane WIlliams )


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This page was last updated on 23 December 2016


(Drawing by Ernest Kinney)