[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
53°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 23
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]


mules110413e[Click here] to watch 1913 film of mules & L.A. Aqueduct construction
* * *

The mules are here.

A hundred pack mules and their muleteers, hired from ranches in the Eastern Sierras, were trailered into Whitney Canyon Park in Newhall on Monday afternoon, getting a little break from their 240-mile walk.

Most of the way, they’ve been hoofing it along the course of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which was completed 100 years ago – actually 100 years ago tomorrow, Tuesday.

“These mules come from different pack stations, which is a back-county mode of transportation when you go camping,” said Tessanne Moran, one of the wranglers. “Instead of carrying your gear on your back, these beautiful animals will carry your sleeping bags and all of your stuff for you.”

mules110413b“One of the reasons we like to use mules,” said fellow wrangler Seth Riley, “is because they inherited a lot of good traits from the donkey and a lot of good traits from the horse.”

“A lot of these mules are very versatile,” he said. “We have two black mules named Dolly and Peggy; they’re a real good team. I’ve driven them a lot. They ride, drive and pack basically do anything you want.”

As to their reputation for being stubborn, “I don’t think they’re stubborn at all,” said Moran. “They’re just darn smart. … Mules are very calculated.”

The mules are on hand to pay homage to the place Angelenos get their drinking water, and to remind them it’s a precious resource.

Rounding up 100 of them and driving them the length of the L.A. Aqueduct was the idea of Lauren Bon, a Santa Monica-based artist and activist – and granddaughter of philanthropist Walter Annenberg.

mules110413d“(Bon) wanted to commemorate the endeavor of the aqueduct with the mules, and the involvement of both men and mules,” said Moran, “and also the appreciation of the water and where it comes from. This is a great opportunity for us all. … This is a chance of a life time.”

In a statement, Bon says the point is to “move forward into the next hundred years with renewed appreciation for this vital resource. Let it be resolved that the citizens of Los Angeles will do better at utilizing this life-giving resource in the next one hundred years.”

Bon next plans to break through the concrete lining of the L.A. River and erect a 60-foot water wheel to irrigate the area north of Chinatown known as the Cornfield – a onetime industrial brownfield that she converted to agricultural use. Now it’s called “Not a Cornfield,” even though it’s more like an actual cornfield than it was previously.

* * *

mules110413a

While underway, the 100 mules carry saddle blankets marked “100.”

It was Nov. 5, 1913, when workers from L.A.’s Bureau of Water Works and Supply (now called Department of Water and Power) turned the giant spigots at the Cascades – the “waterfall” east of Interstate 5 just below the Newhall Pass – to quench the big city’s thirst with water piped in from the Owens Valley.

William Mulholland’s great water project made possible the further development of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley we know today.

There were costs – and not only to the L.A. taxpayers who financed the deal. Owens Valley farmers expressed their consternation over the draining of “their” lake by dynamiting sections of the 240-mile pipeline. Then in 1928, just two years after it was completed, the St. Francis Dam collapsed, sending 13 billion gallons of L.A.’s water from Saugus to the sea, killing an estimated 450 people along the way – including most of the student body of three little elementary school districts in Saugus.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

None of it would have been possible, at that time, without mules. Teams of 52 to 54 animals carted enormous sections of pipe from the harbor in Los Angeles all the way up to a point near Independence, the Inyo County seat above Owens Lake.

mules110413cControversial though it was, Mulholland’s aqueduct was also a phenomenal engineering feat. The system was entirely gravity-fed. When it couldn’t go over a mountain, as in the Elizabeth Lake area, work crews drilled through the landscape. (The aqueduct runs 250 feet below Lake Elizabeth). But in most places, tunneling was unnecessary. At a place called Jawbone Canyon near Red Rock in the Mojave Desert, the water runs downhill with enough force to push it back up through the pipe over another hill. The same thing occurs within Santa Clarita, on a much smaller scale, near Saugus High School and the Centre Pointe business park and in Placerita Canyon, where the pipe can still be seen above ground.

Mules had to scale all of those hills.

Today’s 100 mules will be heading to a ranch in the Sun Valley area as they near the end of their journey. It culminates Nov. 11 in a Veterans Day Parade on Western Avenue in Glendale.

Meanwhile, Tuesday at noon, the L.A. DWP will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of water with a reenactment at the Cascades. Paid actors will play the roles of William Mulholland and other key figures, telling the story of the aqueduct as they might have told it.

 

 

mules110413gmules110413f

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

4 Comments

  1. Carrie Adamson – check this out!

  2. We went to the reenactment of the opening of the Cascades this afternoon. Very impressive!

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Mar 22, 2019
Mueller Submits Long-Awaited Report on Russian Meddling in US Election
Nearly two years in the making, Special Counsel Robert Mueller confidentially submitted his report Friday on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, but it remains unclear as to when, or whether, Attorney General William Barr will make the report public.
Friday, Mar 22, 2019
March 26: Oversight Panel to Focus on LASD Secret Subgroups, ICE Policy, Sheriff’s Actions
The Civilian Oversight Commission for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will host its monthly commission meeting in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday, Mar 22, 2019
Newsom Proclaims State of Emergency on Wildfires
Governor Gavin Newsom Friday proclaimed a state of emergency throughout California ahead of the coming fire season, directing his administration to immediately expedite forest management projects that will protect 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]
For the second time in as many years here, a Mustang barreled to the rim in the closing seconds and scored a game-tying basket, only for the opposition to land a jarring counterpunch. This time no overtime was necessary.
Men’s Hoops: TMU Falls on Buzzer-Beater in NAIA First Round
As Master's concluded the Battle at Primm in Nipton, California, on Tuesday, the tournament's bright spot remained Karsten Briley's ridiculously low second round a day earlier.
TMU Men’s Golfers Prep for Fast Turnaround After Primm
College of the Canyons placed golfers in the top three individual spots on the way to winning its fourth straight conference tournament with a five-man score of 367 at Antelope Valley Country Club on Monday.
Wakaari Medals Again, Cougs Win Fourth Straight
College of the Canyons' men's swim team won a relay event and combined for eight top-five finishes to lead the Cougars to a third-place team result during the Western State Conference meet held at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center on Saturday, March 16.
Cougars Swim to Third at Home WSC Meet
College of the Canyons won a combined nine events and finished runner-up in six more during a strong showing at the non-conference Bakersfield College Relays on Saturday, March 16.
Cougars Track & Field Roars at BC Relays
The city of Santa Clarita will host a public ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of the Sierra Highway Pedestrian Bridge and Street Improvement Project on Friday, March 29, at 10 a.m.
March 29: City to Dedicate New Sierra Highway Pedestrian Bridge
Nearly two years in the making, Special Counsel Robert Mueller confidentially submitted his report Friday on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, but it remains unclear as to when, or whether, Attorney General William Barr will make the report public.
Mueller Submits Long-Awaited Report on Russian Meddling in US Election
The Civilian Oversight Commission for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will host its monthly commission meeting in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
March 26: Oversight Panel to Focus on LASD Secret Subgroups, ICE Policy, Sheriff’s Actions
The students in California State University, Northridge Finance 491A and 491B: Student Portfolio Seminar are outperforming finance professionals and turning nearly $5 million of investments into scholarships, research and other opportunities for the university.
Students Beat the Markets in Managing CSUN’s Portfolio
Governor Gavin Newsom Friday proclaimed a state of emergency throughout California ahead of the coming fire season, directing his administration to immediately expedite forest management projects that will protect 200 of California’s most wildfire-vulnerable communities.
Newsom Proclaims State of Emergency on Wildfires
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station will take part in a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation in the city of Santa Clarita on Monday, March 25, between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m.
March 25: LASD Bicycle, Pedestrian Safety Operation in Santa Clarita
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, March 26, starting at 1 p.m.
March 26: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
California consumers are applying for clean-vehicle rebates at a record pace as demand for the cleanest vehicles on the market skyrocketed over the past year.
Sales of Electric Cars Breaking Records in California
As long-sparring foes, Cemex and the city of Santa Clarita enter what appears to be the final 16 months of their rocky relationship. A recent lawsuit filed by the former against the latter was done without fanfare and withdrawn just as quietly.
Cemex Silent on Dismissal of Suit Against City of Santa Clarita
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station arrested an unidentified couple in Castaic on felony vandalism and misdemeanor drug and theft charges on Wednesday, station officials reported Friday.
Napping Couple Nabbed in Castaic on Vandalism, Drug Charges
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Friday filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to block the Trump-Pence Administration’s Title X Family Planning Rule.
California AG Seeks Injunction to Halt Feds’ Title X Gag Rule
The Looks Threading Salon, located at the intersection of Copper Hill and Seco Canyon, is celebrating its 1-year anniversary on Saturday, March 23, from 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Local Threading Salon to Offer Mimosas, Deals at Anniversary Event
Parents of a girl rescued after she was found pushing on a second-floor window screen early this month appeared in court Monday on charges of cruelty to a child that is likely to produce injury or death.
Parents of Child Rescued from Window Appear in Court
Noted life scientist, teacher and academic leader Carol L. Folt will become the University of Southern California’s 12th president and will take office July 1, the USC Board of Trustees announced Wednesday.
Carol L. Folt to Become USC’s 12th President July 1
The Los Angeles County Probation Department, along with several of its county collaborative agencies, has officially rolled out a new protocol designed to provide specialized services to detained youth who are identified as victims of sex-trafficking.
LA County Probation Moves to Aid Young Sex-Trafficking Victims
1875 - Construction begins on San Fernando Railroad Tunnel [story]
A new report on the health of counties across the nation has ranked Los Angeles County among the California health jurisdictions with the lowest rates of premature death. The County’s result also fared better than those of the other three most populous counties in the nation.
Report Indicates LA County Among Lowest Rates of Premature Deaths
The Valencia High School Marching Band, led by band director Mark Judd, with over 40 members of the award-winning marching band, performed in the historic New York City 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16.
Vikings Marching Band Featured at New York’s Historic St. Patrick’s Day Parade
LOS ANGELES - In observance of World TB Day 2019 on Sunday, March 24, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) and community partners will light the LAX pylons, Grand Park Fountain and Union Station up in red as part of the Stop TB Partnership Light up the World campaign to honor victims and survivors of the deadly disease.
County Public Health to Observe World TB Day on Sunday
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — As The Master's University men's basketball team interacted with elementary students inside Municipal Auditorium on Wednesday, one child asked an assistant coach to take a selfie.
No. 2 Mustangs Banking on Experience at NAIA Tournament
Coach Dan Waldeck's excitement over learning that members of his starting front court had been named NAIA All-Americans was matched by another interest.
Pair of Lady Mustangs Named NAIA All-Americans
ATHERTON, Calif. – The University of Antelope Valley Pioneers were swept in their doubleheader against Menlo College (11-18), losing game one, 9-1 in five innings, and dropping game two, 6-2 on Thursday in non-conference NAIA softball action at Wunderlich Field in Atherton, Calif.
Lady Pioneers Swept in Doubleheader
The seven-week trial of a commercial driver charged with six counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter has ended in a hung jury and a mistrial declared in the case of 71-year-old Richard Lopez.
Mistrial Declared in Vehicular Manslaughter Case that Killed 6 in Gorman
Junior Chamber International of Santa Clarita, also known as the “The Jaycees,” is celebrating after holding several successful events and is thrilled to announce some exciting new opportunities to connect with young leaders.
Junior Chamber Santa Clarita Embarks on New Opportunities for Young Leaders
Spectrum SportsNet LA announced Thursday its comprehensive, all-access Los Angeles Dodgers programming schedule for the 2019 regular season. The network’s coverage will include over 150 live games in English and Spanish, beginning on Opening Day when the Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 28 at 1:10PM.
Spectrum SportsNet LA Announces All-Access 2019 Dodgers Programming
Attendees at the 2019 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, presented by California Resources Corporation, will have a new opportunity to see some of the most iconic sets in recent film history.
Tour of Blue Cloud Movie Ranch Now Part of Cowboy Festival Lineup
The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors passed amendments Tuesday to strengthen the County’s policies on smoke-free environments and to close loopholes where smoking is permitted. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) provided recommendations to close the gaps of existing County smoke-free ordinances.
County Looks to Strengthen Ordinance on Smoke-Free Environments
College of the Canyons has been awarded $3 million by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to upgrade its existing fuel cell technology system, bringing the college one step closer to energy independence.
COC One Step Closer to Energy Independence After $3M Award
For the first time, the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation's award-winning Parks After Dark (PAD) will be offered during Spring Break.
‘Parks After Dark’ Now Being Offered During Spring Break
John Chernesky has been promoted to the role of senior vice president, North America sales and trade marketing for Princess Cruises.
Princess Cruises Appoints New Senior VP North American Sales, Marketing