Owens Valley, Owens Lake & Bartlett, CA



bar

See USE NOTICE on Home Page.
Fotocards courtesy of the Rich McCutchan Archives unless otherwise indicated

bar

owens lake panorama
Sectional panorama of Owens Lake taken during the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct - Circa 1910
(West Coast Art photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress American Memory Project)

bar
new 03/21
A Glimpse of Owens Valley
From the Los Angeles Herald, Saturday Morning, November 11, 1893


bar

How to Get Rich in California
By McMorris & Gans - 1876
how to get rich
how to get rich


bar
bar

new 09/21
Miner's Guide from the Los Angeles Sunday Times - 1905
A Map of the California and Nevada Deserts

(Courtesy "Southern Nevada History in Maps)


bar
bar

new 09/21

Mojave & Colorado Deserts & Death Valley Map - 1930
(Courtesy "Southern Nevada History in Maps)


bar
bar

new 09/21
Map of the Desert Area in Southern Nevada and Southeastern California - 1955
(Courtesy "Southern Nevada History in Maps)


bar
bar

san francisco examiner
OWENS LAKE
The Los Angeles Examiner - May, 1874



From the Visalia Times: - Little is apparently known of this lake. It is ninety miles in length and fourteen miles wide, and its greatest depth of thirty feet. The bottom is apparently smooth and level. It is supplied by Owens River and numerous springs, and has no visible outlet. It is highly charged with alkali, borax and other elements, and is so strong that it will cut cloth, leather, destroy soap or grease. On the west side are the highest mountains in the United States: Mount Whitney being but a short distance off. Owens River flows from the north through a narrow valley, between two ranges, and enters the north end of the lake. Rugged, broken mountains rise upon the east. From the south extends a narrow, dry valley. The surrounding scenery is picturesque and grand.

bar

Why Owens Lake is Red owens lake

bar

Owens Valley Rock Art
by Jay C. von Werlhof


bar

Paiutes and Shoshones in Owens Valley, California
by Lawrence F. Van Horn


bar

Some Early History of Owens River Valley
by J. M Guinn


bar

The Story of Owens River
Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
by Allen Kellky


bar

owens valley
Map of Owens Valley - circa 1910?
Map courtesy of the Claremont Colleges Library, Special Collections

bar
los angeles herald
The Owens Lake Monster
From the annals of the Los Angeles Daily Herald - July 21, 1868


bar

From the annals of the ...
pioche weekly record
Saturday - August 24, 1889
LOCAL INTELLIGENCE
An old Indian tradition has it that Owens Lake is inhabited by a monster sea serpent over thirty feet in length, and there have been white men and Mexicans who claimed to have seen it.
Saturday - November 29, 1884
It has been found that there is an excellent shampoo to be obtained in using Owens Lake water. Under the title of "Castilian" it is being put up in barrels and shipped. Last week a carload of fifty empty barrels arrived at Keeler from San Francisco, to be filled with water from the lake and returned to that city. A firm has started a business for the sale of the water, and will extend its correspondence and shipments to the East.
Vintage Newspaper Articles Courtesy of Hal Eaton

bar

morning appeal
Official Paper of Ormsby County
Wednesday, January 23, 1888
Deluging a Desert

H. M. Yerrington, President of the Carson & Colorado Railroad, and his associates, D. O. Mills, Nicholas Luning and other capitalists, have just concluded an arrangement with Professor Thomas M. Chatard of the United States Geological Survey, to take charge of their soda works at Owens Lake, Mono County.
Mr. Chatard was sent last summer by the government to examine soda deposits throughout the West, as he was considered a leading authority on this and similar questions. He has been induced by this syndicateto resign his position under the government, and will leave for the West on the 1st of March.
The scheme of the capitalists is one of the most stupendous ever undertaken in the West They propose diverting the waters of Owens River, allowing the lake to dry out, and carrying the waters beyond the lake into Death Valley, thus making a garden of the most desolate wilderness of the West, and opening thousands of acres for settlement.
They then propose to extend the Carson & Colorado Narrow Guage Railroad to a connection with the Atlantic and Pacific, in this manner making a very profitable railroad out of the C. & C.


Evening Chronicle
VIRGINIA CITY NEVADA
Wednesday, January 23, 1888

Deluging Death Valley

The Project Impracticable Unless Water Will Run Up-Hill

H. M. Yerrington arrived from Carson this morning. To a CHRONICLE representative he stated empathically that the press dispatch from New York announcing that D. O. Mill, Nicholas Luning and himself "propose diverting the waters of Owens river, allowing the lake to dry out, and carrying the waters beyond the lake into Death Valley, thus making a garden of the most desolate wilderness of the West, and opening up thousands of acres for settlement" was never entertained or even suggested by him or the above name capitalists.

He says the project is utterly impracticable, unless water can be made to flow up hill, as any one familiar with the topography of Inyo county is aware tha the Inyo mountains, a lofty range through which there are no passes that are not several hundred feet higher than Owens river, intervenes between that body of water and Death Valley desert.

Mr. Yerington remarked that it would be practicable to irrigate the Mojave desert with water from Owens river by excavating a canal, which would cost not less than $150,000, but after the canal was cut there would be no water as the flow of Owens rivers is diverted for irrigating the land along its course by ranch owners.
Vintage Newspaper Articles Courtesy of Hal Eaton

bar

new 07/21
Fortunes in Apples in Owens Valley, Inyo County - California
by Owens Valley Improvement Company


bar
evening mail
BIG LAUNDRY SCHEME
Owens's Lake as a Place to Wash the World's Dirty Clothes.
Carson Appeal.

While H.M. Yerington was in San Francisco a few days ago some parties called on him to ascertain how much he would charge a car-load to take dirty linen from San Francisco to Owen's Lake. They said their idea was to do all the washing for San Francisco at Owen's Lake, as they had heard that the borax and saltpeter in the water would make an old dirty shirt as white as the driven snow in Winter. They had founded a stock company with $100,000 capital, called the San Francisco and Owen's Lake Natural Laundry Company (limited). Mr. Yerington told them that there was no doubt about the cleaning qualities of the water. "Why," said he, "once when out looking for a new railway route I was obliged to wear a pair of socks three weeks, and when set up in the sand they would stand alone. I cast them into the lake and in five minutes they were as white as a shirt bosom."

"You bet, Bill, this is the boss scheme," said one of the trustees of the new company.

"But," continued the narrator, "when I went to pull the socks on they came all to pieces, because there is some mineral substance in the water that acts like blue vitriol. Once I left a shirt in there over night, and the tail and the buttons were all eaten off. If you could chemically eliminated the stuff that ate the buttons off the shirt you'd have a big thing, and if you ever do, put me down for a thousand shares."

Before he had finished the turstees of the new company had left the room and were fighting for the first call on the elevator.
Vintage Newspaper Article Courtesy of Hal Eaton


bar

new 03/21
Inyo County California - Sunset Magazine: June 1912
by G. Yoell Parkhurst

(NOTE: If the pdf photos don't disply properly CLICK HERE)
inyo
Bishop, CA home
inyo
Big Pine, CA chicken ranch
inyo
Stacking alpha in Owens Valley

inyo
Artesian well near Independence, CA and irrigation canal

inyo
Threshing grain near Independence, CA

inyo
Inyo Development Company Soda Works on the shores of Owens Lake

inyo
Sheep in Owens Valley on their way to market
inyo
Bishop Creek gold camp

inyo
Railroad routes in the southwestern United States

owens lake
Owens Lake in 1902

bar

new 07/21
Into the Desert - Darwin, Cerro Gordo, Owens Lake and Owens River Valley
by Samuel D. Woods


bar

owens lake
View of Owens Lake with a double row of piling seen extending across middle of picture.
(photo courtesy of California History Section Picture Catalog)

natural soda products
Elevated pipeline across Owens Lake from the Natural Soda Products operation at Keeler
(Eastern California Museum photo)

owens lake soda plant
The Great Soda Lake in Owens Valley - 1894 Harper's Weekly photo
(Photo courtesy Inyo County Sesquicentennial)

owens valley
Stereogram of Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada
(Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress American Memory Project)

bar

The Owens Valley Committee (OVC)
The OVC is a party to the 1997 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to the EIR of the 1991 Inyo-LA Long Term Water Agreement.


bar

Owens Lake and Vacinity
1939 USGS Topographical Map


bar

new 01/21
owens river mining company map
Holt's 1864 Map of the Owen's River Mining Country
Xtra Large Blowup of map

bar

Fotocards courtesy of the Rich McCutchan Archives unless otherwise indicated
owens lake
Owens Lake, CA
owens lake
Owens Lake, CA
owens lake
Owens Lake, CA
owens valley
Grading on the Owens Valley Electric Railway in Bishop - Inyo County
owens valley
Owens Valley circa 1924
owens valley
Owens Valley circa 1930
Owens Valley
Owens Valley circa 1930
owens valley
Cerro Gordo to Owens Valley tram circa 1930

road building
Road construction in Owens Valley (probably the El Camino Sierra)
with Owens Lake in the background
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

el camino sierra

The El Camino Sierra along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

bar

Owens Lake photo from "Men, Medicine & Water" by friends of the LACMA Library
Photos were taken by Raymond G. Taylor, M.D. on the occasion of the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct
owens lake
Owens Lake near the middle - 1909

bar

owens lake
Owens Lake - August 1969
(Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)

new 01/21
My dad was a chemical engineer who worked at the PPG Bartlett Plant located on the shores of Owens Lake. He worked there from the late '50s until the plants closing in 1968. My understanding is the plant made soda as (Sodium Carbonate) - a compound that was used by PPG's glass division to make glass. There used to be a calciner (big rotating cylinder where a heating process took place to cook off the water from the liquid salt slurry taken from Owens Lake. I see that the calciner is gone now. My dad explained to me that the brine taken from the lake had to be fully saturated at 10.0 ppg density for the extraction and manufacturing process to be even marginally profitable.

In the winter of 1967 - 68, the Sierra Nevada took an abnormally high volume of snowfall. When the spring of '68 came around, there was strong speculation that the aqueduct, which was uphill from several small towns on the east side of the Sierra, would overflow and decimate a town. It was decided to purposely breachthe aqueduct directly above Owens Lake and let the excess water from the snow runoff drain into the lake basin. The large volume of fresh water from the aqueduct draining into Owens Lake dropped its salinity to the point that every day the plant stayed ope was another day it lost money. The plant was shut down in the summer of '68 and Lone Pine was indeed decimated - not by water but by the loss of those jobs at the plant. For a ten year old boy and his three sisters, it was a hard transition to move from hiking and fishing in the Sierra to the swamps of Lake Charles, LA. There wasn't a mountain or a hill for 200 miles. My dad finished his career with PPG at the LC Plant in 1980 and immediately moved back to California.

(Text courtesy of Dean Oneal, Houston, TX - 06 June, 2013)

bar

pittsburg plate glass company
Pittsburg Plate Glass Company plant on the western shores of Owens Lake at Bartlett
(Inyo County Sesquicentennial photo)

THEN
plate glass company
Pittsburg Plate Glass Company plant on the western shores of Owens Lake at Bartlett
(Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)

NOW
charcoal kilns
Sherman Stevens charcoal kilns on the western shores of Owens Lake
(Photo courtesy of David Woodruff)

owens lake
Owens Lake
(Photo courtesy of eBay)

new 08/22
bartlett
Pittsburg Plate Glass Company plant on the western shores of Owens Lake at Bartlett - Monsoonal thunderstorms over the Inyo Mountains - July 2022
(Photo courtesy of Michael Prather)

soda ash operations

Soda Ash operations on Owens Lake over the decades.

California Alkali Company: 1917-1932
Clark Chemical Company: 1927-1928
Inyo Development Company: 1887-1920
Inyo Chemical Company: 1917-1932
Permanente Metals Corporation: 1947 - 1950
Natural Soda Products Company: 1915-1952
Pacific Alkali Company / Columbia-Southern Chemical Corporation: 1928 to present .

bar

new 09/21
soda ash operations
Soda Ash operations on the shores of Owens Lake near Cottonwood Creek
circa 1906
(Photo courtesy of University of Nevada, Reno - Online Digital Collections)
soda ash
I believe this particular operation was either the Permanente Metals Corporation operations just north of Cartago or the California Alkali Corporation operations out of Cartago. The Inyo Mountains are off in the distance to the east. circa 1940
(Photo courtesy of USC Libraries Special Collections)

bar

Owens Lake Land Use

bar

Soda Ash Industry of Owens Lake - 1959
by Mineral Information Service


bar

Eastern Sierra Commitments and Issues - 2006
by Los Angeles DWP

bar

Owens Lake Soda Ash Company
Soda Ash Mining and Processing Project - 1994

by County of Inyo Planning Department
California State Lands Commission
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management


bar

Owens Valley Land Management Plan - 2010
by Los Angeles DWP

bar

The Development and Decline of Agriculture in Owens Valley
by Peter Vorster

bar

owens lake
Dust mitigation efforts on Owens Lake, Owens Valley, CA
(Los Angeles Times photo)
owens lake
Alkali dust cloud coming off of Owens Lake, Owens Valley, CA
(Brian Russell photo)

bar

Owens Lake photo from the Water Resources Archives - Orbach Science Library
On the occasion of the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct
owens lake
Owens Lake - November 1906

bar

owens lake
Owens Lake
owens lake
Owens Lake

Bartlett

Bartlett, CA

bartlett

Bartlett, CA

new 11/21
bartlett
Bartlett, CA
(Photo courtesy CA State Archives, Richard Olsen Negatives Collection)
new 01/21
the desert rat
The Desert Rat
(Photo courtesy The Huntington Library Digital Collections)

bar

owens lake
Owens Lake
owens lake
Owens Lake

owens lake

Owens Lake

owens river

Owens River

owens river

Produce from the Owens River Valley

owens river

Owens River

owens river

Owens River

owens river

Owens River - Big Pine Canal

owens river

Fisherman on the Owens River

owens river

Attempting to cross the Owens River

owens valley

Owens River - Inyo Cattle

owens valley

Motoring in Owens Valley before there was a paved road.

new 05/21
bridge
Makeshift bridge over the Owens River
(Photo courtesy of UCLA Digital Library)

bar

owens lake loop
(Courtesy Desert Magazine)

bar

dwp
DWP workers erecting power lines across Owens Lake
(Photo courtesy Inyo County Sesquicentennial)
dwp
DWP workers erecting power lines across Owens Lake
(Photo courtesy Inyo County Sesquicentennial)


bar

boat
Inyo resident George Larry with some friends, taking his nice looking boat to Owens Lake for a day out on the water.
(Photo courtesy of Tales Along El Camino Sierra)

bar

Vintage Map Courtesy of Hal Eaton
railroad stop map
Vintage 1910 railroad stops map - published by Sunset Magazine Homeseakers Bureau

bar


owens lake

Owens Lake - 1915
(Courtesy Calisphere - Report XV of the State Mineralogist, Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Inyo County: 1915-1916)

bar

Courtesy Calisphere (unless otherwise noted)


Owens Lake - 1969

new 05/21
owens lake

Owens Lake
(Photo courtesy of UCLA Digital Library)

owens lake
Owens Lake - unknown date: Photo taken from the Cottonwood Power House forebay

owens lake
Owens Lake - unknown date: Photo taken from the Cottonwood Power House forebay

bar

owens lake
Owens Lake - circa 1926
(Photo courtesy of the California Department of Conservation / California Geological Survey)

perminante metals
Permanente Metals Alkali operations north of Cartago
(Photo courtesy of Rick Olson)

new 05/21
owens lake
Owens Lake - Circa 1917
Automobile trip taken by J. G. Oliver and W. H. Frick from Los Angeles to the Owens Valley.
(Photo courtesy of the Huntington Digital Library)

bar

Reconnaissance of the Borax Deposits of Death Valley and Mohave Desert - 1902
by Marius R. Campbell

bar

Watterson Brothers, the Bankers of Owens Valley
(Article courtesy of Hal Eaton)

bar


owens lake
View of Owens Lake from Cirque Peak -1905

owens lake
View towards Owens Lake from the Cottonwood Canyon Trail -1905

owens lake
View towards Owens Lake from the Cottonwood Canyon Trail -1905

sherman stevens sawmill
Colonel Sherman Stevens' Old Mill at lower end of Cottonwood Meadows, Sierra Nevada Mountains. Inyo Co., Calif.

keeler nsp
Crude sacks of soda at the National Soda Products facility about 1.5 miles south of Keeler - circa 1901

Hal Eaton writes: Neat thing about the 1902 USGS report is the map which shows the route the Marius Campbell (with his wife, Margaret Stevenson Campbell, along) took and how the photos follow in order. They went from Ballerat to Darwin through Shepherd's Canyon and then Keeler. So photo #230 is a great picture of his wagon in the tight canyon. #233 is "Soda works at Keeler at Owens Lake, California. Showing reservoirs into which the lake water is pumped and which it evaporates and leaves the soda crust. 1901." this photo is taken from elevated spot.


1951 U.S.G.S topographical map of the area .

maurice route
Marius Campbell U.S.G.S 1902 survey route.

bar
new 01/21
Courtesy Cecile Page Vargo and Roger W. Vargo
(Photos from their 2012 book: Images of America - Cerro Gordo)
owens lake
Inyo Mountain foothills reflecting in the waters of Owens Lake near the town of Keeler.
The Cerro Gordo tram terminus is in the far right of the photo and the white Sierra Talc building to the left .


owens lake from cerro gordo
Looking down on the large lake that once was Owens Lake from the snow covered hills of Cerro Gordo

bar

new 01/21
Owens Lake photos courtesy of UCLA Digital Library Collections
Photos from the 1913 David F. Smith and Henry Hebard West Tour

owens lake
Photograph of H.H. West's Buick and Dave F. Smith's EMF parked in tandem along the aqueduct road by Owens Lake

owens lake
Owens Lake, viewed from the road

bar

new 02/21
Irrigation Map of Owens Valley - 1922
(Map courtesy of University of Wisconsin UWM Libraries)

map

bar

new 02/21
Proceedings of the First International Soda Ash Conference: Volume I - 1998
by John R. Dyni and Richard W. Jones

bar

new 02/21
bartlett

Bartlett
(Photo courtesy of Larry Evans)

new 06/21
bartlett
Bartlett
(Photo courtesy of Jay Coberly)

bar

new 05/21
electric grid
The Nevada-California Electric Corporation
Map showing that most of the electricity for Eastern and Southern California at one time
was being supplied solely by Owens Valley
(Photo courtesy of Hal Eaton)

bar

new 06/21

Airports in Owens Valley History region circa 1929 from the
Standard Oil LANDING FIELDS OF THE PACIFIC WEST

(Photos courtesy of Hal Eaton)
eaton

eaton

bar

stage lines
1903 Tri-Counties map from a California State Geology report showing the regular stage lines from the railroad stops to the major settlements.
(Map and text courtesy Hal Eaton archives)


bar

arrow
Irene Kritz: Mt. Whitney Pack Trains Cook, Packer, Cowgirl, and Author  
arrow
The Album: Times & Tales of Inyo - Mono
arrow
Coso Hot Springs & Coso Junction  
 
Near Owens Valley
arrow
 
Bishop Mule Days
arrow
 
Lone Pine Stampede
arrow

sign
Free Guestbook
Sign Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (MS Word)

Sunhorn
CONTACT the Pigmy Packer  

view
Free Guestbook
View Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (PDF)

This page was last updated on 09 August 2022