pot

 snake
Early Independence Residents

1868 - 1934

Text excerpts are from "The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin
Ansel Adams photographs are from 1950 edition of "The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin

 "Nurslings of the Sky"[pdf]
from "The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin


Thoughts on Mary Austin
by Father John Crowley

The late Mary Austin is unquestionably the greatest teller of tales that Inyo has known, and her descriptions of "this long, brown, and lonely land" are alike marvels of accuracy and limpid English prose. She laid no claim to be an historian; in fact, she deliberately used false names for participants in incidents we all know well, but she left us pictures of Lone Pine and Independence in their heyday that live and speak. Notable particularly are The Land of Little Rain, The Basket Woman, and The Ford, with her autobiography, Earth Horizon, supplying the background for the former fictional and descriptive sketches. (Houghton Mifflin).

Article from the February 7, 1937 edition of Sage and Tumbleweed.

   
Portrait of an Owens Valley Literary Pioneer

 mary austin
Mary Hunter (circa 1900)

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)

 

 mary austin 2 
The Hunter family in Carlinville, Illinois 1880
L to R: James, Mary, Susanna and George

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)

 

 basin peak
Basin Peak and the Buttermilk Country Road by Ansel Adams

 

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Blackburn College class of 1888.
Mary Austin at the far left.

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)

 

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Mary Hunter & Wallace Austin's wedding portrait - 1891

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)



 "The Land of Little Rain"[pdf]
from "The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin



 "Mary Austin - A Page From History"[pdf]
an excellent but brief biography from "Mineral Information Service"

 

mary austin 4
Ruth Austin (Mary's daughter)

 mary austin 8
Mary Austin in 1914

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)

 Mt. Tom
            WIDTH=
Mt. Tom and Farm near Round Valley
by Ansel Adams

mary austin 7 
Mary Austin in 1906

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)

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Mary Austin

wallace
Stafford Wallace Austin


Mary Austin Home in Independence



 "The Streets of the Mountains"[pdf]
from "The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin




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Mary Austin
(1929 by Ansel Adams)

 mary austin 10
Mary Austin

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)

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Mary Austin in 1900
(Charles Lummis photo)

 sierra pass
High Sierra Pass by Ansel Adams

 

 desert train
Railroad Tracks near Lone Pine
by Ansel Adams

mary austin
Mary Austin

owens valley road
Owens Valley Road by Ansel Adams

mary austin
L to R: George Sterling, Mary Austin, Jack London, and James Hopper in Carmel

Courtesy of the Huntington Library,
San Marino, CA
(© The Huntington Library)



 "Water Boarders"[pdf]
from "The Land of Little Rain" by Mary Austin




 "Austin's Beardtongue"[pdf]
by Larry Blakely





Fred & Rena
Fred and Rena Moore, 1921

"The Mary Austin House"
by Rena Moore, 1921

In the latter part of '20... and all of '21,
and even into 1922, I was a busy one...
I lived in Independence, California, in the "Mary Austin House."
And tho just newly married I seldom saw my spouse!

He was a mountain man in the summer, and winters with a crew
of traveling surveyors, so he was busy too.
I had two friends called Dude and Doc, who owned the Sweet Shop,
where I hurried every morning, by the clock...

I fixed breakfast for one customer, and he was JUDGE DEHEY.
I cooked his ham and scrambled eggs, every working day....
Then off I'd go to get the news, for my column in the paper...
often at some distant ranch, and this was quite a caper!

I rode the school bus there and back, and enjoyed a visit too,
with refreshments...while jotting reports of what was new!
On Saturday night a weekly dance was in the old town hall,
with usually a bake sale too, which was enjoyed by all.

The Logan's and the Payson's, Diggy Bell and Jo;
the Sterling Brothers and Herbie Caps, were friends I used to know.
Often in the evenings we'd gather at my home
around the old rock fireplace, and talk of times aroam....

Lesley, Wesley, Babe and Ann, were the Logan teenage clan...
Their father was the Sheriff, a very likable man.

(
Photos and text courtesy of Rena-Beth Smith)

 

Further Reading on or by Mary Austin

keeler fence
Sand Fence near Keeler
by Ansel Adams
The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin (1903)
.......I personally recommend the 1974 edition with the E. Boyd Smith illustrations
.......and the 1950 edition with photographs by Ansel Adams - pictured on this page
Earth Horizon by Mary Austin (1932) - her autobiography
Taos Pueblo by Mary Austin (1930) - 1977 version has Ansel Adams photos
Land of the Sun by Mary Austin (1927)
The Arrow Maker - A Drama in Three Acts by Mary Austin (1911)
One-Smoke Stories by Mary Austin (1934)
Mary Austin, Song of a Maverick by Lanigan Stineman (1989)
Making "out of print" and "hard to find" books easier to find.



Vintage Eastern High Sierra Brochures  

Cerro Gordo  

Early Big Pine  

Early Bishop Residents  
 

The Carson & Colorado Railroad in Owens Valley

 

 High Sierra Pack Stations

 

Willie A. Chalfant


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This page was last updated on 14 July 2012