Catalog Archive
Auction 184, Lot 268

California Water War Map and Report

"[Lot of 2] Map of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and Adjacent Territory [and] Owens Valley and the Los Angeles Water Supply...",

Subject: Los Angeles, California

Period: 1908-25 (dated)


Color: Black & White

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A. Map of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and Adjacent Territory, dated 1908 (9.0 x 26.8"). This is a reduced version of a very large and rare progress map showing the path of the aqueduct from Tinemaha Reservoir and continuing to Owens Lake, Little Lake, Fairmont Reservoir, and terminating at the Fernando Reservoir with the "City Trunk Line" bringing water to downtown. Condition: Issued folding on watermarked paper with a small chip at lower right and a small repaired fold separation at lower right. There are some pencil notations and staining along the right sheet edge. (B)

B. Owens Valley and the Los Angeles Water Supply Including a Statement of Facts Omitted by the State Engineer in his Report to Governor Richardson, by Board of Public Service Commissioners, City of Los Angeles, published 1925 (6.0 x 9.0"). This report was issued in the midst of the Water War during which residents of the Owen Lake area dynamited the Los Angeles Aqueduct, an engineering marvel that brought water from the Owens River to Los Angeles. The pamphlet charges the State Engineer McClure with bias in his report to the Governor that concluded that the residents had been wronged. The city here makes its case it acted eminently fairly, even generously, and above board in all respects, in purchasing the water rights to the Owens River. The controversy was depicted in the Hollywood classic Chinatown. The long-term result of the diversion was the desiccation of Owens Lake making it the largest single source of dust pollution in the United States, according to the EPA. 26 pages, printed paper wrappers. Condition: Text is clean and bright with some minor soiling and staining to covers. (B+)



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Estimate: $180 - $220

Sold for: $2,300

Closed on 9/15/2021