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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
69°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 22
1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]


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
Loading...
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Sep 22, 2017
LAPD Officer from Canyon Country Dead in Motorcycle Crash
John Gasparyan, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and Canyon Country resident, died when his motorcycle crashed in Porter Ranch around 6:50 p.m. Thursday.
Friday, Sep 22, 2017
Ex-Probation Officer Gets 364 Days for Sexual Assault
A former Los Angeles County probation officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to inappropriately touching two girls at a youth camp, the county District Attorney’s Office has announced.
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
Vandals Trash Library, Computers, Classrooms at Mountainview
Mountainview Elementary School parents were greeted with a voicemail Thursday morning informing them of a break-in on campus believed to have occurred the night before.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
College of the Canyons launched its First-Year Promise program this fall, and to ensure the future of the FYP program, which offers full-time freshman students waived tuition and fees during their first year of study, the COC Foundation has committed to fundraising $500,000 over the next two years.
COC Foundation Launches ‘First-Year Promise’ Fundraising Campaign
Road rehab on major arterial roads and intersections in the city of Santa Clarita continues into October.
Santa Clarita Road Rehab Drives into October
The Santa Clarita Valley has five major industry clusters and the SCV Economic Development Corporation targets its economic development efforts to support and expand them.
Five Growing Industry Clusters in the Santa Clarita Valley
Gatorade made misleading “anti-water statements” while pushing the benefits of its sports drinks in a video game marketed to teenagers, according to a settlement announced Thursday by California’s attorney general.
California Fines Gatorade $300K for ‘Anti-Water’ Ad Campaign
John Gasparyan, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and Canyon Country resident, died when his motorcycle crashed in Porter Ranch around 6:50 p.m. Thursday.
LAPD Officer from Canyon Country Dead in Motorcycle Crash
A former Los Angeles County probation officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to inappropriately touching two girls at a youth camp, the county District Attorney’s Office has announced.
Ex-Probation Officer Gets 364 Days for Sexual Assault
1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]
The most prestigious recognition for government assessment agencies has been awarded to the Office of the Assessor in Los Angeles County.
County Awarded Prestigious Government Assessment Award
The Dodgers, who have clinched a postseason berth for the fifth consecutive year, return home tomorrow to open their final homestand of the regular season against the San Francisco Giants (Sept. 22-24) and San Diego Padres (Sept. 25-27).
Dodgers Back Home Friday; Last Homestand of 2017 Season
Auditions for the the upcoming Canyon Theater Guild's production of A Christmas Story are just around the corner.
Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Christmas Story Auditions at CTG
Now that the formerly great state of California is a sanctuary, I’ve got to compare that action with the actions in the early 1860s of the Confederate States of America. They decided what laws they wanted to follow and what ones they didn’t.
No Home for Me | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
Santa Clarita Valley residents have known the family-owned Italian restaurant, Sisley Kitchen, since 1993 when their doors first opened at the top of Valencia Town Center Drive in Westfield Valencia.
Renovations Complete at Sisley Kitchen
The Women's Soccer team will be finishing up their non-conference matches this weekend.
Sept. 22-24: CSUN Athletics Roundup
David Wolfram will demonstrate pastel-over-watercolor painting at the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA) meeting on Monday evening, Nov. 20 at 6:30 pm. This event is free, open to the public and meets at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd.
Nov. 20: Pastel-Over-Watercolor Demonstration at SCAA Meeting
Beginning October 1, all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses will accept applications for admission to the fall 2018 term.
Oct. 1: CSU Accepting Fall 2018 Applications
College of the Canyons launched its First-Year Promise (FYP) program this fall, and to ensure the future of the FYP program, which offers full-time freshman students waived tuition and fees during their first year of study, the COC Foundation has committed to fundraising $500,000 over the next two years
COC First-Year Promise Fundraising Campaign Underway
The city of Santa Clarita is inviting our younger residents to take part in the 30th anniversary celebration.
City Launches, “30 Things for 30 Years” Contest, Students Invited to Take Part
California State University, Northridge’s Friends of the Oviatt Library welcomes members of the community to nominate their favorite stories about the San Fernando Valley for consideration of the San Fernando Valley Award for Non-Fiction.
CSUN Library Group Invites Community to Nominate Favorite San Fernando Valley Story
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced sellouts for all seven potential postseason home games in the Division Series and League Championship Series just hours after tickets went on sale to the public at 10:00 a.m. It’s believed to be the quickest that the club has sold out of postseason tickets in Dodger Stadium history.
Dodgers NLDS, NLCS Tickets Already Sold Out
Sales of existing single-family homes increased 7.4 percent throughout Santa Clarita during August while the median price of homes that changed owners rose 6.6 percent, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported today.
Increase in SCV August Home Sales, Prices
Mountainview Elementary School parents were greeted with a voicemail Thursday morning informing them of a break-in on campus believed to have occurred the night before.
Vandals Trash Library, Computers, Classrooms at Mountainview
Hans' family did not know too much about his childhood or the country he had grown up in. About all the family knew was that Hans and his wife were born in Germany but had lived in this small Minnesota town for the last 60 years or more.
Lesson from History | Commentary by John Windsor
A gang sweep targeting Newhall 13, a well known Santa Clarita criminal organization, netted three arrests Thursday.
Three Arrests Made in Newhall 13 Gang Sweep
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is proud to announce the launch of our new LASD Facebook Español.
LASD Facebook Español Now Online
Autumn Gratitude, Santa Clarita Artists Association's new show will be open on Sept 28th and run to November 4th, with a free artists’ reception on Friday October 6th, 5 to 9 pm.
SCAA’s Newest Show, “Autumn Gratitude,” Opens
September is for seniors. Businesses around Santa Clarita are taking part in the following SCV Senior Center New Building Campaign events and asking the community to show support.
SCV Businesses Holding End-of-Month Events to Support New Senior Center
Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center will kick-off its no-cost flu shot clinics this Saturday, September 23, 2017 in the Atrium of Medical Offices 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kaiser Permanente to Hold Flu Shot Clinics Saturday
Starting September 23, Santa Clarita residents can get a flu shot at no cost — no appointment needed.
Sept. 23: SCV Flu Shots
The College of the Canyons Athletics department is inviting all staff and students associated with a Santa Clarita Valley school district or campus to attend Saturday's Cougar football game free of charge.
Sept. 23: COC Football Game Free to SCV School District Staff, Students
There is a common insect that most people are not aware of because you never see it. It is mostly active underground. However, if you know what you are looking for, its traps are in many places and are very obvious.
You Won’t See Them | Commentary by Evelyne Vandersande
1974 - COC's new Cougar Stadium opens for first game of football season; Harbor beats COC, 26-21 [story]
A “fabulist” coming-of-age novel about a queer mixed-race boy in the bayous of Louisiana, written by California State University, Northridge English professor Martin Pousson, has won the 2017 PEN Center USA Fiction Award.
CSUN’s Martin Pousson Wins PEN’s Literary Award for Fiction
Public notification that the Santa Clarita Community College District (College of the Canyons) Early Childhood Education Center on the Valencia campus is participating in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.
COC Valencia Participates in USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program
Public notification that the Santa Clarita Community College District (College of the Canyons) Early Childhood Education Centers are participating in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.
COC Canyon Country Participates in USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program
The Santa Clarita Valley Service Center has moved from its previous location in Newhall to a new location in the Santa Clarita Plaza, and will host a grand opening celebration Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sept. 21: SCV Service Center Grand Opening, Resource Fair