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saga of inyo county
saga of inyo county

Text and Photos courtesy of
Southern Inyo American Association of Retired Persons
unless otherwise noted


See USE NOTICE on Home Page.

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macmurry family
The McMurry Family of Big Pine, CA - about 1913 on the old McMurry Ranch


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John Glen (Mono John) - 1825 - 1910

Andrew Glen - 1878 - 1973

Little Lake Hotel - 1860 - 1977

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The Famous Snow Storm of 1865
by T. E. Jones
During the night we had a snow storm. About ten inches of the beautiful stuff fell. This storm reminds us of a still more beautiful one which we experienced in this Valley just twenty­one years ago.

Owens Valley then was something of a wilderness, nor were the noble red men angelic or lovable. At the time referred to, January 1865, this scribbler struck camp one cold, raw day at Jim Probasco's, on the banks of Owens River. On account of scarcity of wood and food, and worst of all, because Jim was out of tobacco, both of us rolled into bed quite early. Under the blankets we built airy castles, the future loomed up greatly before us, "Yes", said Jim, just before dropping into a snore, "the winters are very mild, it never snows in this Owens River country". In another moment Jim was snoringly in the Arms of Morpheus.

Next morning, he was up before daylight, rushed to the door, and suddenly, like a Comanche, yelled, "Wake up, the snow is belly deep." The other snoozer endeavored to convince him that he was perpetrating a joke, or dreaining, because "It never snows in Owens Valley." Nevertheless, the beautiful fact remained. Snow had fallen during the night to the depth of twenty-six inches. The shanty was then eagerly prospected for supplies, which resulted in the discovery that there was only a small quantity of beans. So, for some little time, our sumptuous repast at the Hotel de Probasco consisted of beans, straight.

Probasco and Westerville bached it for many years together. Both are dead. Our famous snowstorms, few and far between, come and pass away, and in the interval many an old pioneer drops, the remaining ones are turning gray, while some are tottering to the grave. They will soon experience their last storm, yet courage does not forsake them. With the great Frenchman Victor Hugo, they exclaim "Although the snows of many winters are on my head, eternal Spring is in my heart."
bishop
Main Street Bishop, CA after the snow storm of 1916
(Photocard courtesy of Rich McCutchan)

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lone pine
1906 Lone Pine, CA


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The Social Life of Lone Pine, 1900 - 1906

Life in Big Pine, 1927 - 1940

The Olivas Family

Keeler to Mojave Stage Line

The Aqueduct

Bishop's First Minister

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addie cornell
Addie Cornell Jones
arcularius family
Anna Albers (2nd wife) and William Arcularius

big pine school
Big Pine School - 1907-08 4th, 5th, and 6th Grades

Top Row (L/R): Ada Chance, Elise Pellissier, Irene McMurry, Carrie Meredith, Bertha McRay, Enid Robinson, Edna Uhlmeyer, Teacher Miss McRay, Gertrude Bernard, Rosalind Black, Lena Lochrie, Addie Sanders, Laura Standtinger

Middle Row (L/R): Russell Van Deran, Fred Schalten, May McMurry, Clara Logan, Golda Schalten, Mabel Branson, Una McKay, Thelma Gregg, Clarice tate, Douglas Joseph, Dan McMurry, George Crocker, Arnuel McMurry, Leslie Logan, Harvey Rossi, D. Meredith, Frank Pellissier

Bottom Row (L/R): Daisy Smith, Ruth Cornell, Martha Marin, Rosie Seglie, Olga Maupin, Alice Blake, Phoenix Wright, Phil Saulque
chris carrasco
Chris Carrasco in the early 1900's

elizabeth mcafee
Elizabeth McAfee

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Emma Louise Duval-Spear, Home Missionary

Alonzo Brown, Olancha Pioneer

The Valley of Broken Hearts

Manzanar

The Beautiful Orchard, Manzanar

Observatory of Lone Pine

A Pioneer Record

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Swansea
by Peggy Streeter
Ten miles East of Lone Pine, on Route 136, is a ghost town - Swansea. It and Keeler together once had 3,000 people, and now Swansea has two buildings, a stone shell of a building, and an Historical Marker. Swansea was alive in the Cerro Gordo Mine's hey-day.

The Historical Marker is for the adobe remains of Cerro Gordo Mine's mill-site and the remains of a pier for shipping silver ore by boat across Owens Lake to Cottonwood, where it went by mule-team to Mojave and then Los Angeles. Jack Carrothers, in 1972, had a silver bar, stamped "Cerro Gordo", which he dug up from the dry lake bed at the site of the sinking of the "Mollie Stephens".

The stone building, now just walls and a couple of fallen rafters, was the overnight stage stop in the days when the main access route to Owens Valley was on the East side of Owens Lake (Keeler, Swansea, Dolomite, Owenyo, Fort Independence, etc.).

The adobe house is one of the few remaining in the area since the 1972 earthquake days. There is an old wooden house behind it.

There are three silver mines in Swansea - geological slippages of the Cerro Gordo vein. One, visible from the highway, was mined about 30 years ago, until a previous claimant halted the work. One, the Pennsylvania Mine, was discovered before 1900. The first official listing is in the "Seventeenth Annual Report of the State Mineralogist, 1920, California State Mining Bureau". The President of the Pennsylvania Mining Co., on that date, was A. A. Irish, of Los Angeles, with George Hill as Superintendent. State reports show sporadic production since then. Mrs. Jack Carrothers purchased this mine in 1935, and she, Josie, and her husband, Jack, lived in the adobe house. Dukco Mines, Inc. leased the Pennsylvania Mine from 1967 to 1971. A few thousand tons of ore were removed.

The third mine, the Queen of the Mountain Mine, has barely been scratched. A blue manganese-glass pickle bottle, very old, was found in the ore-dump pile.

Just North of Swansea are Indian Petroglyphs. Mining, which was halted through the effort of Lillian Hilderman, of Keeler, destroyed a large portion of these petroglyphs. The petroglyphs remaining are being vandalized by persons ma­ing rubbings of the soft dolomite. At their base are numerous grinding holes, and grinding stones have been found nearby. Adjacent are piles of stone chips with finished and unfinished arrowheads among them. One can easily picture prehistoric Indians, sitting on the shore of Owens Lake, some making stone arrowheads, some drawing petroglyphs to record recent events in their history, while the women ground corn and seeds.
swansea
Swansea, CA
(Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)
swansea
Cabin ruins near Swansea, CA
(Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)
swansea
Ruins of Tramway (terminus of the Saline Valley-to-Owens Lake salt tram) near Swansea, CA
(Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)

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casa vieja ranger station
L/R: Henry Thorne, Kenny Bellis, Ivan Hansen, CLiff Crawford, Dutch Ambrosia, Roy Gill, Relles Carrasco
uhlmeyer
William Henry Uhlmeyer

uhlmeyer
Angie Bell McDonald Uhlmeyer

charles meysan
Charles Meysan
andrew clark
Reverend Andrew Clark - 1832-1918
Baptist minister
The "circuit rider" who traveled from Bishop to Cerro Gordo on horseback.
felix meysan
Felix Phillip Meysan


meysan family
Felix Meysan Family in 1905
L/R (back): Felix Meysan, Ellen Meysan, Elodie Meysan
L/R (front): Zelia Meysan, Charles Meysan (baby)


meysan store
Charles Meysan General Merchandise Store
This was the first building built after the earthquake of 1872 - Lone Pine, CA
(This is the present location of La Florista)

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Henry Lenbek Family - Manzanar

John H. Lubken

The Uhlmeyer Family

Felix Philip Meysan

The Meysan Family

Early Days in Owens Valley

The Arcularius Family

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The Manzanar I Remember
by Dorothy Lydston Gates
Due to my Mother's recurrent bouts with bronchial pneumonia each winter, my Father, Walter "Stub" Lydston, was advised by our family doctor to move us to a higher, dryer climate.  Dad knew of the Owens Valley, as friends of his had settled in Manzanar earlier, so after a quick trip north, he returned to our home in Whittier with news that we were to move there too.

He rented a truck and driver and went ahead with our possessions.  Later he told us of the poorly marked dirt roads causing them to go by way of Johannesburg.  While he was getting settled, my mother, Nellie Lydston, with my sisters Tillie and Nellie and I stayed with relatives in Hollywood.  Then we left by train for the Owens Valley.

What a thrill that train trip was for us!  We slept on the broad gauge, then changed to the narrow gauge at Owenyo, where we had breakfast.  Dad was at the Manzanar station to meet us.  Mr. Hawthorn, the driver of the mail truck, carried passengers when there were any.  We crossed the Owens River, and the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which at that point was a wide dirt canal.  There were ranches along the way and then we arrived at the little town of Manzanar, with its general store, its Post Office and town hall, and little two-roomed school house.  When we reached the place where we were to live for a year, we found that Dad had the furniture all arranged and a large bowl of shiny red apples, picked from our trees, on the table.  This was in October 1919.
manzanar

Very shortly we were absorbed in school.  It was quite a change from the one in East Whittier where we had been going.  Here there were only two rooms, two outside conveniences, plus a shed for horses.  All gatherings, such as programs, dances, and chicken pie suppers were held in the town hall.  On Sunday mornings the minister from Independence would hold services there, then go on to Lone Pine.

It was on July 4th 1920 that we saw our County Seat for the first time.  We went by wagon for the all day festivities.  It was a real old-time Fourth, with foot races for the young and old, plenty of fire crackers and best of all that lucious old time cream soda.

In Manzanar, summer picnics were held in the grove south of town.  A feast would be spread on long tables, with two five gallon freezers of ice cream to top it.  Huge swings were hung for the younger set and baseball for the older ones.  Camping in George's Creek Canyon and on Shepherd's Creek was great fun.  Summers seemed cooler and winters more severe.

The town's water supply came from Shepherds Creek, in an open wooden flume, across the desert where it was piped into the town.  Many times during the winters this would freeze, which meant carrying water from an artesian well close to the old Shepherds ranch.  The soil in this area was wonderfully fertile and grew marvelous apples, pears, potatoes and all kinds of garden produce.

This is the Manzanar I remember, and for me, but for brief visits, it came to an end in 1927 when I married Harold "Skinny" Gates, and moved elsewhere.

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Russell and Katherine Spainhower - Lone Pine

Frank Chrysler

The Chrysler Family

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neva chyrsler
Neva Chrysler Jenkins, oldest daughter of Henry Chrysler, age 18.
frank chrysler
Frank Chrysler, son of Henry Chrysler - circa 1950
"Sturdy Westerner and pack train owner."
chrysler family
The Family of Joseph Freemand and Cynthia Jane Chrysler - at the home of Thomas Tate, Big Pine, CA July 14th, 1909
Back Row , Seated (L/R): Frank Inman, Bertha Inman, Elizabeth Hamilton, Joseph Freeman Chrysler, Cynthia Jane Chrysler, Clara Mitchel, Alice Robinson, Bob Robinson, Esther Tate, Thomas Tate, May Smith, Fay Smith (on lap), Bud Smith
Back Row, Standing (L/R) Dorothy Inman Freeman, Millard Smith
Front Row, Standing (L/R): Howard Smith, Elva Tate Willis, Clarice Tate Uhlmeyer, Enid Robinson Yandell, Bessa Robinson Brooks, Dottie Robinson Wilson, Gertrude Smith, Alvin Smith (on lap above), George Mitchell, Bertha Mitchell, Mitchell children (Frank, Bernice, Mildred, Mark), Robert Smith (on railing)


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The Rossis
by Winifred Bambauer
Angelo Rossi was born in Italy in 1841.  He married Rosa Panelta there and they had twelve children.  After having been kidnapped twice and held for ransom during troubled times in Italy, they decided that he should go to the United States.  Five of his children left with him.  These were: Benedetta (Berna), Raffaele (Rafael), Guiseppi (Joe), Luigi, and Antonio (Tony).  This was in 1883.  Most of them arrived in Inyo County in the next year.  Rosa and the rest of the family came later.  They settled from Laws to Big Pine.

In later years Rafael, one of the sons, tells his story.

They had all worked their way through France, Switzerland and Belgium as musicians, and working in vineyards.  Finally arriving in the United States, he and his brother Anthony worked their way across the continent and arrived in Inyo County in 1884.

They herded goats there for $25.00 a month, and out of this saved $700.00, with which they took up a homestead and bought water rights on land between Big Pine and Bishop.  The next few years they lived on the land and worked at odd jobs, when they could get them for $1.25 per day, in order to provide food and to improve their place. They planted vineyards and gardens, and raised stock.  They could not afford coffee, so Mary, Rafael's wife, substituted a mixture of bran, barley and honey, which she roasted.  Sugar was one item that they seldom had as it was 12½ cents a pound.

After a few years of hard work the ranch prosperosa panettared.  Rafael and his wife, also Italian born, had three sons:  Felix, Mandy and Frank.  Anthony married a Big Pine Girl:  Nancy Blake.  Their children were Harvey, Stella, Maynard, Alma and Virginia.  They built a home west of Big Pine, at the foot of the hill that was caused by a drop of land during the earthquake of 1872.  Alma still lives in this homeplace.

Rafael sold his ranch in 1931 to the City of Los Angeles.  Their place was nearly at the end of the ditch which originated in the Owens river and supplied all the places along the foot­hills in that area.  He and Mary moved to Fontana.  After Pearl Harbor, at the age of 76, Rafael started working at the San Bernardino Air Terminal Command and, for the first time in his life punched a time card.  All of the money he earned he turned into War Bonds, buying a total of $250.00 dollars worth every month.  He said "everything he owned he owed to this Country" so he felt that he should in his small way return the debt.

The Rossis were all musical.  Mary played the accordion entirely by ear.  She was in demand at social functions in Big Pine, as her music, together with her sense of humor made for good entertainment.

Several of the other brothers and sisters of Rafael and Tony settled around Laws and Bishop.  One of the daughters, Benedetta married Harry Fletcher, and they were the parents of the well-known cowboy poet, Curley Fletcher.  Angelo Maria married Antone Servante and their daughters Marguerite Milovich, and Louise Clark still live in Bishop.

Angelo, the father of all, died in 1920 and his wife Rosa followed him in death the next day.


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bell
Henry James Bell, born in Big Pine

bell
Henrietta Vagi Bell - born in Fort Independence


big pine students
Big Pine in the early 1880's - Teacher is Mr. James H. Shannon
2nd Row (L/R): 3rd from left is Christine McDonald (Hall), Angie Bell McDonald (Uhlmeyer) is next to her beside Mr. Shannon.
Bottom Row (L/R): 3rd fro left is Allie McDonald.
Families such as the Bakers, Blakes, Schaltens, McMurrys, Stewarts, Halls, and Greggs are represented here.
They are all pioneer families, descendents of whom still live in Owens Valley today.

dixon
John Glanville Dixon
Author of "The Valley of Broken Hearts"


blake family
The Blake Family
Top Left: Nancy Blake,Ross
Right: Mary Begart Blake
Center, Left: Estelle Rossi Fansler Screen
Right: Catherine Tracy Bogart Ream
Leated Left: "Buddy" Fansler
Right: Warren Fansler
blake family
The Blake Family and Friends
Back Row: Abe Ramson, Kate Ramson Maude Brackett, Joe Brackett, Earnest Blake, Bob Blake
Middle Seater: Mr. and Mrs. Blake
Top Step: Snthony ROssi, Nancy Rossi with Alma, Alice Blake, Florence Hines, Wm Hines
Bottom Step: Stella Rossi, Harvey Rossi, Francis Hines, Ella Hines

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The Crockers
by Winifred Bambauer
James Crocker was born in the town of Oswego, New York.  His first job was piloting canal boats in the days when freight was hauled by oxen fastened to the boats by ropes, then driven along the banks.  In the famous year of 1849 Mr. Crocker felt the call to California.  He came by way of the Isthmus of Panama, and took pride in telling that he walked across the Isthmus.  For several years he worked for Miller and Lux, who had large cattle holdings in the San Joaquin Valley.

It was not until 1861 that he married Mary Smith, who had come across the plains in a covered wagon train with her parents years before, from Missouri.  Besides their own five children; Clara, Nellie, Edwin, Fred and Bertha, they took two grandchildren to raise.  These latter two were Jess and May Thomas.

In 1887 the Crockers moved to Big Pine.  He first bought the hotel that was on the north corner of Main Street and Crocker Avenue, with the adjoining one hundred and sixty acres.  Later, he sold this to Tom Williams of Mono Lake for five hundred head of cattle.  The hotel became known as the "Callow Hotel", for Tom Williams died and his widow married Tom Callow.  After the discovery of Tonopah, Jim Butler bought it.  A little later Mr. Crocker bought considerable more property in that section.

Mr. Crocker donated land for the church, the school, which was at time across from the church, and the cemetery, a little to the west.  Around all of these pieces of land, he also planted trees.  He was always a most public-spirited man, helping wherever he could with community projects, both to beautify the town and to aid its growth.  Many thanks are due Mr. Crocker and his wife for their generosity and keen interest in the little town of Big Pine.

Edwin, Fred and Bertha were the only ones of the Crocker children who remained in Big Pine, and married there.  Ed married Ida Hall, and they had one son, George. Bertha married George Mitchell.  Their children were Mildred, Mark, Bernice and Frank.  Fred married Carrie Gregg.  They had five children, James, Laurette, Albert and twins Allen and Alliene.  Alliene and her husband, Ted Hunnewell, still live in the old Crocker home, that was built by her father back in 1912.

crockers
Crocker homein Big Pine
crockers
Fred Crocker Family
L/R (back row): Albert, Loretta, James
L/R (front row): Twins - Allen and Allienne

crockers
Carrie and Fred Crocker

crockers
Edwin Crocker

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Darwin -1900 to 1930's
by Elizabeth L. Meacham
Darwin had many "characters" - one was Dick Kennedy, a quiet man, hard working, but up to tricks when drinking.  Old Taylor and Old Crow was the popular whiskey in our old days.  Dick leased "The Mennetta" from Jack Gunn and would work for months getting a shipment out, which would be packed out by mules to Darwin.  Freight teams hauled it to Keeler and loaded it on the "Slim Princess," eventually arriving at Shelby Smelter, out of San Francisco.  Dick would go along and collect his money, generally several thousand dollars.  He would go on a bender and finally arrive back in Keeler, broke, and back to the Mennetta and more months of work and solitude.

One cold November day in 1914 or thereabouts he was in Independence.  In the evening he walked into the saloon, full of customers sitting around the red hot stove.  Dick walked in with his hand under his coat, went to the stove, opened the door and said, "All who are staying with me, keep your seats", and threw a stick of dynamite into the stove.  The exodus was fast. After a while, out in the cold and dark, a few brave souls ventured back and there was Dick behind the bar, a bottle of whiskey in each hand, laughing, "fit to be tied."  He had emptied the dynamite from the heavy yellow paper.  Oh, he was foxy!

In Darwin he and his pal, Ralph Williams, would sleep in the big old barn.  After pulling tricks on all of us, he would suck eggs and wring chicken's necks, and would say they were better raw than cooked.  They would climb up on our roofs, stuff barley sacks down the tin chimneys.  When we built an early fire, smoke would fill the room and out the door we'd go, knowing full well who the guilty ones were.  They would roll down our main street.  Oh, those good old Darwin days!

Dick died at the County Farm, at Big Pine, September 1, 1933, about 65 years old.  Several of our old timers from Darwin died there, well cared for.


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emma duval
Emma Duval

jones
The Jones' of Round Valley
L/R: Thomas E. Jones, Hariette Jones, Gladys Jewett (their daughter)

galen dixon
Galen Dixon of Bishop

kilpatricks
L/R: Frank Kilpatrick, Lavina Kilpatrick, Alex Kilpatrick

george cornell
George Cornell

smith family
The Washington LaFayette (Bud) Smith Family of Big Pine, CA
Standing (L/R): Will, May and Millard Smith
Seated (L?/R): Howard, Bud, Robert, Dicea and George Smith

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Inyo County Odds and Ins
from the Inyo Register
1885 - A new law in Bishop: No female shall be arrested except for willful injury to a person, character or property.

1886 - J.R. Eldred, Deputy, strapped two Paiutes to a post on Line Street, Bishop, for punishment, from 6 A.M. to 3 P.M.

1887 - Yesterday morning, while crossing the river at Poleta Ford, Bart McGee and family has a narrow escape from drowning. The ford had washed out on one side and Bart had driven nearly across before he discovered the fact, when the wagon upset. Fortunately, the distance to the bank was short. Mrs. McGee floated to the bank with the baby in her arms and Bart swam out with the other three children. It was a narrow escape and an experience which none of the family wishes to repeat. People who have an occasion to cross our swollen streams cannot be too cautious, as one night may change a safe ford into a very dangerous one, by washing it out.

1887 - The McAfee loom is proving quite a success in weaving carpets of good quality.

1888 - The friends of Manual Diaz, Lone Pine; Walter Ober, Big Pine, and Charles Olds, Round Valley, may all back their opinions with cash on April 26th, since a race has been arranged between the three men. The distance to be run is one hundred yards. It will decide the championship, and a good sized purse. There is much interest being shown as we hear that in addition to visitors from the south, a large delegation is expected from Candelaria and other camps. Olds and Ober are both in vigorous training and, no doubt, Diaz is letting no grass grow under his feet. The race will take place at the Fair Groiunds and the entrance fee is ten dollars. April 26, 1888. Olds withdrew and Diaz won by fifteen inches.

Plump girls are coming into fashion again and Chesterfield says, "It is never pardonable to be out of fashion: the man who is engaged to a thin girl should break his engagement even if he gets sued for breach of promise."

The milk or sap of common milk weed has, wheever tried, proved a sure cure for warts.



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w. hunter
W. Hunter

carters
A. C. Harvey and Cynthia Ann Carter Harvey - circa 1872

shaw
Frank Shaw of Bishop

hall family
The Hall Family (L/R): Harriet, Dan, George Sr., Nellie Smith, June Smith, Nettie Hall

shaw
Clara Madora Shaw Hart

independence jail
The jail in Independence, CA
Alan McDonald - Undersheriff and George Nailer - Sheriff

spear
Ruben Cook Spear - circa 1888

store
Old store in Independence, CA

skinner
Hariette Skinner

joseph's market
1882 site of what is now Joseph's Market in Lone Pine, CA
1. Zaun Ice House, 2. Wagon Shed, 3. Blacksmith Shop, 4. R.C. Spear Home, 5. A.C. Harvey family

dixon
John and Mary Dixon

lem mau
Lem Mau

george hall
George Hall - Big Pine, CA Justice of the Peace

tates
Tom and Esther Tate - circa 1880

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Joseph's Department Store
In 1895, Louis Joseph rented one downstairs room of the Annex to the Callow Hotel in Big Pine and opened his first store.  He had married Minnie Harris in 1890. Minnie was born in Independence, in 1868, and grew up there.  Louis met her while she was visiting relatives in San Francisco.  In 1892, when their first boy, Irving, was an infant, they moved back to Minnie's old home.  Louis went to work in a store owned by his brother-in-law, Henry Levy.  After a couple of years Louis decided to go into business for himself, so he borrowed four hundred dollars and they moved to Big Pine.

Louis was an enterprising man, so instead of going into debt for equipment, he used the boxes in which his goods came for counters and shelves.  Always increasing his stock, he was able in a few years to rent a larger place across the street.  It is said that he moved everything he had in a wheelbarrow.  With more room, he made his store into one for general merchandise, and he handled everything!  Soon, he hired Douglas Robinson, who was sixteen, as a clerk.  He also bought a horse and spring wagon.  Each morning he sent Doug out in the wagon to solicit orders from every housewife in town, and every afternoon he sent him again to deliver the orders.  The horse and wagon were also used to haul goods from Alvord, the railway station for Big Pine.  Louis has often been quoted as saying (if he did not have the item wanted)  "It's at the depot."

A second son, Douglas, had arrived in 1897.  Business kept improving, so, when Lida had its boom in 1905, Louis sent Douglas Robinson over there to manage a store.  When the boom died down, he had to close it.

When old enough, both boys were sent to business schools in San Francisco, later returning to work for their father.  But, as time went on, Louis turned more and more of the responsibility over to them.  At one time, in order to increase the size of the store, a new building was built around the old one, so that there was little inconvenience to the running of the store itself.

Irving married Jessie Peden in 1913.  They had two sons, Roy and Don.  Douglas married Zetta Hudson in 1923.  Their one son, Hudson, still lives in the Bishop area.  By 1932, Louis was tired of the responsibility of the store, so he and Minnie left it in the hands of Irving and Douglas and went to San Francisco to live.  They both died there later.

In 1935, Irving and Douglas decided to expand.  Douglas bought out Cy Williams' store in Bishop, and Irving bought out John Morris, in Lone Pine.  They left the running of the Big Pine store to Stewart Bedell, a long time employee, who later bought it.

As time went on, as his father before him had done, Irving turned more and more of the responsibility of the business over to his two sons, Roy and Don, but as long as he was able, he went to the store every day.  He died in 1968 - his wife having preceded him in 1963.

Douglas sold his Bishop store to Nason Toby in 1966 and spent a large part of his retirement years in travel, after his wife's death in 1968.  He died in 1973.

In Lone Pine, Roy and Don sold the grocery part of their store to Nason Toby in 1972, keeping the Dry Goods part.  This is known as Joseph's Department Store.  So, in one town or another, since 1895 until the present time, there has been a Joseph's store in the Owens Valley - probably the oldest family-owned and operated business in Inyo County


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lawrence family
Frank Lawrence, Sr. Family
Back Row (L/R): Frank Jr., George, Ben, Joel, Jesse
Front Row (L/R): Ellen, Evva, Hetty J (mother), Frank Sr. (Father), Amy

angus mcdonald
Angus Campbell McDonald

wills
George F. and Emma (Anderson) Willis' 6 children - Independence, CA 1899
L/R: Ruth (Hunter), Frank, Dave, Roy, Edna (Bodle), George "Chub" is standing in front of Roy

max skinner
Max Skinner

shaw family
Frank Shaw Family - circa 1909
Top Row (L/R): Mrs. Frank Shaw, Margie Shaw Millner, Mrs. W. Birchin, Mrs Grover
Middle Row (L/R): Frankie Shaw Birchim, Alma Shaw Shuey
Front Row (L/R): Frank Shaw holding Asenath Shaw, James Birchim, Harold Birchim, Frank Millner, Clara Shaw, Harry Shaw
wiltfang family
The Wiltfang Family - circa 1910
L/R: Leonard, Ivadell Smith, Carrie Ruby Skinner, Opal Burkhardt, Carrie Wiltfang

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The Seven Wonders of Inyo County
As recorded by Ralph Jesson in the Saga of Inyo County

Little Lake

little lake
Little Lake - gas station, store, and hotel
(photocard courtesy of Rich McCutchan)


Death Valley

death valley
Death Valley - Zabriski Point

(photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)
Mt. Whitney

mt whitney

Mt. Whitney Panorama

(photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)
Sheepherders Bread

sheepherders bread shats
Schat's Sheepherders Bread
16 Miles of One Lane Cement
Paved Road

old 395
Old U.S. 395 between Big Pine and Independence

(photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)
Taboose and Goodale Creeks

taboose creek
Taboose Creek


Eastern California Museum

museum
(photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)

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Max Skinner

Reuben Cook Spear

The Thomas Tate Family

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georges creek school - manzanar
Georges Creek School
Back Row (L/R): Affie Shephard, Ida Johnson, Beulay Lucy, Harriet Chaffe, Ann Geode, Viola McGovern, teacher Kate Wlaters, Angie McGovern,
Sophie Albers, Loouie Shepherd
Bottom Row (L/R): Chrissie Hacket, Gladys Lacey, Nellie McGovern, Gussie McGovern


lone pine school
First Wooden School House in Lone Pine, CA - circa 1872. The Town Hall is presently located here.

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Further Reading

"Saga of Inyo County" by Southern Inyo American Association of Retired Persons - 1977
Although this book is out of print, copies are available through
Amazon.com and ABEBOOKS.com




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This page was last updated on 13 April 2019