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San Joaquin Valley Irrigated Farms Promotions
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Collection Details
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  • History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis Library, University Archives
    Title: San Joaquin Valley Irrigated Farms Promotions
    Creator: Payne Investment Company
    Identifier/Call Number: MC306
    Physical Description: 4 items Four original photographs, each approximately 6 x 8 inches, mounted on heavy card stock. Typed caption labels on mounts.
    Date: circa 1910
    Abstract: Four photographic proof advertisements for irrigated farm land in the San Joaquin Valley near Patterson, California.
    Physical Location: Researchers should contact Archives and Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.


    The Payne Investment Company of Omaha, Nebraska, operated a thriving irrigation and sales business for western lands during the early 1900s.

    Scope and Contents

    An interesting set of four photographic proof advertisements for irrigated farm land in the San Joaquin Valley near Patterson, California. The land was under promotion by the Payne Investment Company of Omaha, Nebraska, which operated a thriving irrigation and sales business for western lands during the early 1900s. The images depict a somewhat dry, but endless field of English Walnut and Peach trees, a laborer turning hay in an alfalfa field, an example of a cement-lined irrigation canal on the land, and a scene of the San Joaquin River, from which the land was being irrigated. The area was named for businessman T.W. Patterson, who had acquired and begun to develop vast land holdings in western Stanislaus County, southwest of Modesto.
    "By the time Patterson was ready to act on his development of rich agricultural land west of the San Joaquin River, the holdings had grown to over 20,000 acres.... He hired the best engineers obtainable to study the water source, and the decision to put in a huge pumping plant to lift water from the San Joaquin River and pump it uphill to the land was made. Fortunately his company owned full riparian rights on the river. The lift system, still in use today, was one of the largest in the country. Mr. Patterson invested over half a million dollars in the project before a cent was received in return, most the money his. Before the property was placed on the market in 1910, it was subdivided into five, 10 and 20-acre tracts. Roadways were bladed in and named, and were lined with miles of trees planted where trees had never grown before.... A nationwide property sales firm, the Payne Investment Co., was soon retained to handle the farm sales. It advertised heavily in the Mid-west, especially in the dairy states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This attracted Swedish and Norwegian dairymen who arrived by train, were transported or walked over to the land sales office, and then were taking either by early automobile or horse and buggy on tours of the rich farmland. They stayed overnight and were fed at the new hotel. A two-story brick building was soon finished on the circle to house the Plaza Mercantile Co., now the home of Oak Valley Bank. It too opened in 1910 and was owned by the Patterson family enterprise.... The community and rural area grew quickly in population. In the three-and-a-half years prior to Mr. Patterson's death, the town had grown to about 800 and the rural area to between 1,500 and 1,700" - Patterson Irrigator.
    Ron Swift, "In Honor of T.W. Patterson," Patterson Irrigator, March 13, 2014.
    [Description provided by McBride Rare Books]


    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information

    Liz Phillips created this finding aid with information supplied by McBride Rare Books.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from McBride Rare Books, 2020.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], San Joaquin Valley Irrigated Farms Promotions, MC306, Archives and Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    All applicable copyrights for the collection are protected under chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code. Requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
    Agriculture -- California -- Pictorial works
    Farms -- Pictorial works
    Irrigation -- California -- History -- Pictorial works
    Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center