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Group of ranchers holding the Alabama Gates of the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Photographer's inscription in lower middle of photograph: "Bishop Ranchers in Possession of LA Water Supply Nov. 16-20, 1924." Title supplied by cataloger. To meet the need for water of its growing population, the City of Los Angeles began buying land and corresponding water rights in the Owens Valley in 1905. In 1913, the great Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed to bring Owens Valley water to the city. In 1923, the City of Los Angeles began acquiring more land in the Owens Valley to gain further sources of water. To protest the failure of Los Angeles to address their grievances, Owens Valley farmers and ranchers, under the leadership of Bishop, California banker Mark Watterson, seized the Alabama Gates, on 16 November 1924. The Gates divert water to a spillway allowing water to flow to the lower Owens River, which leads to the now dry Owens Lake. During the occupation water was let from the aqueduct into the Owens River bed, at that time dry (it has now been partially restored). After townspeople from Bishop joined the occupation, the number of occupiers reached seven hundred. It lasted until 20 November, and brought both national and international press coverage to the plight of the Owens Valley residents. The occupation and resulting favorable publicity did nothing to halt the City of Los Angeles' continued acquisition and subsequent control of land in the valley. The famous Alabama Hills, the site of many a western movie, are in the background.
1 postcard : b&w ; 8 x 13 cm
ov051 J. D. Black Papers, CSLA-15, Series 3: Photographs, Subseries A: Photographic Postcards, Box 16, Sleeve 2 http://digitalcollections.lmu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/jdblack/id/66
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Los Angeles Aqueduct (Calif.) Owens Valley (Calif.) Owens River (Calif.)--Water rights Bishop (Calif.) Water rights--California--Owens Valley Water rights--California--Los Angeles Canals--California--Owens Valley Protest movements--California--Owens Valley