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Photograph album of Owens Valley, 1905-1906
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Photograph album of Owens Valley
    Date (inclusive): 1905-1906
    Collection number: 94/194
    Creator: Stowell, Nathan W. (Nathan William), b. 1851.
    Physical Description: 1 album (28 photographic prints) : gelatin silver, 18 x 41 cm (album)

    Photographs are panoramic views, oriented horizontally (89 x 273 mm), and are mounted on rectos of leaves of heavy black paper, one to a page. Captions identifying location and date of each photograph are printed on slips of white paper affixed below photographs.

    Bound in plain black paper covers; bound with faded gray silk ribbon threaded through four holes punched along left margin.

    Spec. Coll. copy: in modern beige cloth clamshell box (21 x 43 cm), with box title "Owens Valley."
    Abstract: Album containing 28 gelatin silver photographs of Owens Valley and surrounding area, dated between July 1905 and February 1906.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Formerly owned by Nathan William Stowell, and presented to the UCLA Library by Mrs. George Leslie Ellsworth in 1981.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Photograph album of Owens Valley (Collection 94/194). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 


    California engineer and land developer. Nathan W. Stowell was born in Claremont, New Hampshire in 1851, studied engineering as a young man, and moved to California in 1874 where he became involved with land development and irrigation projects, in Rialto, Corona, Ontario, East Whittier, and especially Cucamonga and the Imperial Valley. His business ventures included the Stowell Cement Pipe Company, the Cucamonga Fruit Land Company, the Cucamonga Land and Improvement Company, the Ontario Power Company, the Pacific Sewer Pipe Company, the California Development Company, and the Imperial Valley Water Company Number 1.

    Scope and Content

    The photographs capture panoramic vistas of mountains, canyons, lakes, reservoirs, and desert in and around Owens Valley, including the Alabama Hills running through the center of the valley, and the White Mountains north of Bishop; towns of Lone Pine, Independence, Cottonwood and Bishop; Owens Lake at the south end of the valley, as well as Long Lake, Little Lake, Lower Lake, Twin Lakes, and Emerald Lake, some of the 4000 lakes in the Sierra Nevada; and Cottonwood Canyon, south of Lake Tahoe. There is also a photo, dated August 1905, of the Shepherd Ranch House, built by homesteader John Shepherd in 1873, and supposedly the first 2-story frame dwelling in Owens Valley, located one-half mile west of Manzanar, between Lone Pine and Independence. Shepherd sold his ranch to land developer George Chaffey (and friend and business associate of Nathan Stowell) in 1905, the same year that Los Angeles announced that it was building an aqueduct to supply the city with water from the Owens Valley.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Shepherd, John, fl. 1864-1905 --Homes and haunts --Photographs.
    United States Highway 395 --Photographs.
    Owens Valley (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Owens Lake (Inyo County, Calif.) --Photographs.
    Alabama Hills (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Little Lake (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Cottonwood (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) --Photographs.
    White Mountains (Calif. and Nev.) --Photographs.
    Lone Pine (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Independence (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Big Pine (Calif.) --Photographs.
    Bishop (Calif.) --Photographs.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints.
    Photograph albums.
    Gelatin silver prints.

    Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Owens Valley
    Ellsworth, George Leslie, Mrs., former owner.

    Related Material

    Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.
    Additional information on Nathan Stowell available in the Nathan W. Stowell Papers, 1852-1925, at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA 91108.