Thursday, March 17, 2016
Eastern California Museum
The Owens Valley has always been sparsely populated and thanks to the city of Los Angeles it will probably stay that way. The valley was first settled by the Northern Paiute and the Shoshone tribes who built canals to irrigate their fields. By the 1860 homesteaders were raising cattle, poultry and fruit. Meanwhile a couple of Los Angeles businessmen and city employees, realizing that the city needed a good source of water if it was to continue to grow, began quietly buying up land and water rights in Owens Valley. By the time Owens Valley residents figured out what was happening it was too late.
From 1907 through 1913 a 233 mile aqueduct was built capturing the Owens River water and delivering it to reservoirs near Los Angeles. It was quite an engineering feat. The museum has several exhibits covering the construction of the aqueduct and the water wars that followed.
Other exhibits include a large collection of beautiful and intricately woven baskets. Local residents have contributed artifacts and photographs for additional exhibits. The outside display area has a group of relocated buildings (not opened) and many pieces of mining and farming equipment.
The museum is accessible but the grounds are not due to loose sand and uneven surfaces.
RVs should be parked along the street.
Museum 36.80169, -118.20387