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Finding Aid to the Frank Rolfe Papers and Photographs MS.210
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Water records Series 1: 1903-1910

Box 1, Folder 1

Statement of water measurement for the Cucamonga Development Company 1903 July 16

Scope and Contents note

Statement made by Frank Rolfe per M.L. Cook, County Surveyor.
Box 1, Folder 2-12

Los Angeles Aqueduct Engineering Department Unit Cost in Progress Reports 1909-1910

Scope and Contents note

Consists of copies of monthly reports for 1909 March - August; 1909 October - December; and 1910 January and March. Reports are copied on blueprint paper.
Box 7, Folder 87

Irrigation documents and newspaper clippings undated

Scope and contents

This folder includes two newspaper clippings on the topic of irrigation and five blue prints of section of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Student papers and master thesis by Rolfe for the University of Southern California Series 2:  1922-1924

Box 2, folders 13-20

Handbook of Los Angeles 1924

Scope and Contents note

"Prepared as a Thesis for the Degree of Master of Arts University of Southern Califrnia, June 1924." Thesis is written in seven parts.
Box 2, Folder 21

Los Angeles topography research papers circa 1924

Scope and Contents note

Folders includes an original paper "Handbook of Los Angeles Topography" and revised version entitled "Topography of Los Angeles City".
Box 2, Folder 22

"Economic Factors in the Development of Los Angeles" 1924 June

General note

part of M.A. Thesis

Scope and Contents note

"A thesis presented to the Department of Economics, University of Southern California. In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts".
Box 3, Folder 23

"Economic Development of Los Angeles City 1880-1920" circa 1924

Box 3, Folder 24

"Los Angeles and the Inter-Mountain Empire of the West" and "Entradas by Spanish Pioneers" 1921-1923

Scope and Contents note

"A paper prepared for the Seminar in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Southern California". Seminar was held 1922 September to 1923 June. "Entradas by Spanish Pioneers" was "a paper prepared for the course in Pacific Slope History, University of Southern California."
Box 3, Folder 25

"Political Los Angeles" 1924 June

Scope and Contents note

Prepared for a seminar in Economics.
Box 3, Folder 26

Book reviews 1924

Box 3, Folder 27

Papers on Western United States 1922-1924

Scope and Contents note

Includes papers on western Montana; Reno, Nevada; Twin Falls, Idaho; Durango, Colorado; and Wyoming
Box 3, Folder 28

"Idaho, and the New City of Twin Falls" 1922

Scope and contents

Folder also includes newspaper article from the Los Angeles Evening Express, 1923 July 21. Newspaper article discusses property values of Liberty Acres, located near Inglewood, California. The article also mentions realtor Ole Hanson.
Box 3, Folder 28

"Southwestern Colorado and Durango" 1923 January

Box 3, Folder 29

"The Unity of California" 1924 June

Scope and Contents note

"A paper presented to the seminar in California History conducted by Dr. Rockwell D. Hunt Ph.D. of the University of California"

Writings by Frank Rolfe Series 3:  1924-1955

Box 3, Folder 30

"Help, Eliza, Help" with rejection from Saturday Evening Post "Outline-DeMille Contest" 1924, 1950

Scope and Contents note

The story was submitted to the "DeMille Contest Editor" by Rolfe 1926 February 24. Per Rolfe's notes, the "rejection letter" was recieved 1950 January 23. 2 copies.
Box 3, Folder 31

Stories about the Sierras circa 1955

Scope and Contents note

Folder includes 3 copies of "Adventures in the High Sierras" short story with a rejection letter from Reader's Digest . Also included is a description Rolfe wrote about a view from his front porch that reminded him of the Sierras. He entitled the description "The Sierras in the Sky."
Box 3, Folder 32

"The Prospector at the Gate" and "A Mining Town Woman" undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes two copies of "Prospector at the Gate"
Box 3, Folder 33

"Spirit of the West-Los Angeles" and "The Spirit of Los Angeles-of Greater Los Angeles" after 1925, before 1960

Box 3, Folder 34

"Backing Up Our City's Growth" and " A Firm Foundation" after 1925, before 1960

Box 3, Folder 35

"The Beginnings of Glen Ivy" undated

Scope and Contents note

Includes Glen Ivy brochures and newspaper clippings.
Box 3, Folder 36

"Cajalco," "El Sobrente" and "Corona's 40th Birthday" undated

Box 3, Folder 37

"Drowning a Southern California Tin Mine with Rocky Mountain Snows" undated

Box 3, Folder 38

"Mt. Santiago: Ascent of it 1899" undated

Scope and Contents note

Folder includes three copies of this title. Also includes “Water in Temescal” and a letter to the editor of the Corona Daily Independent, dated 1951 September 17.
Box 3, Folder 39

"The Old Adobe Houses of the Temescal Valley, Riverside County, California" after 1925, before 1960

Box 3, Folder 40

"Brewer's Desert" and "Jedediah Smith and Los Angeles" after 1925, before 1960

Box 4, Folder 41

"California as Greeley Saw Her in 1859" and "The West in 1850" after 1925, before 1960

Box 4, Folder 42

"Conquering the Southern California Deserts" undated

Box 4, Folder 43

"Early Gold Mining Days in the San Gabriel Canyon" after 1925, before 1960

Box 4, Folder 44

"Future Population of the San Joaquin Valley" and "California's Greatest Crop" undated

Box 4, Folder 45

"A Little Gem" (Lee Lake) and "Mojave a Man's Town" after 1925, before 1960

Box 4, Folder 46

"Little Rivers of Southern California" and "California Forests Gather Many Waters" after 1925, before 1960

Box 4, Folder 47

"On the Right Track" circa 1924

Box 4, Folder 48

"Riverside a Potential Agricultural Empire" and "The Agricultural Limits of Our Population" after 1925, before 1960

Box 4, Folder 49

"Rural Life in Southern California in the [Eighteen] Eighties" after 1925, before 1960

Box 4, Folder 50

"The Sierras the Mother of California" and "A Sunday Morning Walk in the San Bernadino Mountains" after 1925, before 1960

Box 1, Folder 51

"The Spell of California" by Frank Rolfe after 1911, before 1920

Scope and Contents note

Possibly an autobiographical account of Rolfe's time in California.
Box 4, Folder 52

"Southern California's Sleeping Lake" (Lake Elsinore) after 1925, before 1960

Scope and Contents note

Folder includes 4 copies of the story and rejection letters.
Box 4, Folder 53

"Kipling's Burma" undated

Box 4, Folder 54

"Evolution of Transportation in Arizona" and "Impressions of Utah" undated

Box 4, Folder 55

Biographies of Arizona engineers 1930-1951

Scope and Contents note

Includes articles on Richard Gird and Elmer Walters written by Rolfe. Rolfe submitted these articles for a series "Another Pioneer Engineer in Arizona" printed in the Professional Engineer magazine. Folder also includes an newspaper article on Charles Haug printed in the Corona Daily Independent, 1950 August 21.
Box 4, Folder 56

Notes on the History of Temescal Valley, Riverside County, California 1948

Scope and Contents note

Compiled by Frank Rolfe, written in 2 parts. Report includes photographs.

Newspaper clippings Series 4:  1917-1958

Box 4, Folder 57

Los Angeles Times editorials by Rolfe 1917-1921

Box 5, Folder 59

Ghost town of Calico and Cerro Gordo 1951

Box 5, Folder 60

Lake Elsinore 1948-1954

Box 5, Folder 61

Nevada Ghost Towns 1954-1955

Box 5, Folder 62

Territorial Enterprise and Virginia City News Friday 1952 May 16

Box 5, Folder 63

Westways Explorer Routes-Partial run 1950-1952 1950-1952

Box 5, Folder 64

People 1951-1957

Box 5, Folder 65

People- Hunt, Rockwell 1943-1958

Biogrpahical note

Rolfe was a student of Hunt who was a professor at USC.

Family papers and memorabilia Series 5:  1869-1961


Allena B. Bishop and Ovid D. Rolfe papers Subseries 5.1:  1869-1913

Box 5, Folder 66

Diary of Allena B. Bishop (Rolfe), hand-written 1869 January - August

Box 5, Folder 67

Diary of Allena B. Bishop (Rolfe), typed 1869 January - August

Scope and Contents note

Typescript copy.
Box 5, Folder 68

Diploma and two letters about Allena B. Bishop 1859-1869

Scope and Contents note

Diploma is from 1859. Letters were written in 1868 and 1869
Box 5, Folder 69

Teacher's certificates of Allena B. Bishop 1859-1869

Box 5, Folder 70

Postcard to Mrs. Allena B. Rolfe from Nellie Bishop Rumsey 1907-1913

Scope and Contents note

Postcards consist of a Christmas greeting sent from Lorrainne, New York, 1907 December 20 and a a picture of Rumsey's family sent in 1913.
Box 5, Folder 71

Letters to Ovid D. Rolfe 1864-1869

Scope and contents

Letters were sent to Rolfe's home in Sutter Creek. They include letters from the following in order of date:
  • J.L. Mann, 1864 December 29
  • Unidentified, 1866 November 5. This letter is signed with an illegible signature.
  • W. Highby, 1868 June 2
  • J.D. Dennis, 1868 July 8
  • Palmer Bachelders and Company, 1868 July 22
  • O.L. Chamberlain, 1868 September 23
  • George Newman with Demit from Henry Clay Lodge, Sutter Creek, circa 1869.
The folder also includes 3 letters that only include month and day the letter was written, no year. The letters are signed by "Me," January 6; "Will, December 10; and "E.W. Hatch" and December 17. Although the signatures are different, they seem be written by the same person.

Frank Rolfe diaries and field notebooks, Subseries 5.2: 1899-1960

Scope and contents

Includes 44 diaries from 1911-1960 and 5 field notebooks created circa 1899.
Box 9

Field notebooks circa 1899

Scope and contents

Consists of five notebooks. One field notebook labelled "level book no. 0" that shows figures and flow of water for Rolfe's Temescal residence. Other field notebooks show similar information for the flow of wells, although exact location is uncertain.
Box 9


Scope and contents

This group of material consists of twelve diaries, with two diaries for 1922.
Box 10


Scope and contents

This group of material consists of 17 diaries.
Box 11


Scope and contents

This consists of 15 diaries. There are no diaries for the years 1956 through 1959.

Frank Rolfe papers and memorabilia, Subseries 5.3: circa 1921-1961

Box 5, Folder 72

Letters from Edward Herkelrath to Frank Rolfe, 1951-1954

Scope and Contents note

Typed copies of letters, dates reflect when the original letters were written. The typed copies were created after 1954.
Box 5, Folder 73

Bohemian Mountain Club booklet, undated

Box 5, Folder 74

"Harding for President" poster circa 1921

Box 5, Folder 75

Los Angeles population cartoon-football team undated

Box 5, Folder 76

Seal of California presented to Frank and Grace W. Rolfe from Assemblyman Tom A. Allen of the 63rd district, undated

Box 5, Folder 77

List of publications of the School of Mineral Science-Stanford, 1951-1961


John Bidwell family papers and newspaper clippings Series 6:  1886-1955

Scope and contents

This subseries includes newspaper articles and publications about John Bidwell, newspaper articles about Annie Ellicott Kennedy Bidwell; autobiography by Lena Bidwell; and a genealogy of the Bidwell family written by Lillian Bidwell.

Biographical note

General John Bidwell was born 1819 August 5 in Sherman, New York and died 1900 April 4 in Chico, California. He was a California pioneer, Civil War soldier, and Congressman. He founded Chico, California in 1860 and also became a trustee of the city's Normal School, which is now Chico State University. Bidwell was also the prohibition candidate for president in 1892.
John Bidwell is related to Allena Bishop, Frank Rolfe's mother, by marriage only. They are not blood relatives.
Box 6, Folder 84, Box 6, Folder 78

John Bidwell biographies 1939-1955

Scope and contents

Other folder includes Bibliography on Bidwell from Goodspeed’s magazine, 1934 and a biographical sketch of Bidwell from Touring Topics, 1931 July
Box 6, Folder 79

John Bidwell obituaries 1900

Box 6, Folder 80

Chico and Bidwell's Bar articles 1911, 1954

Scope and contents

Includes “Chico and Bidwell’s Bar Linked by Common Heritage,” P. G. & E. Progress , 1948 September, volume 25, number 10 and “Rancho Chico Sold,” The Times, 1911 January 8.
Box 6, Folder 81

Annie Ellicott Kennedy Bidwell articles 1941-1954

Box 6, Folder 82

Bidwell family genealogy by Lillian Bidwell after 1903

Box 6, Folder 83

Lena Bidwell autobiography 1886-1889

Scope and contents

“Commenced at the age of 12 years” in 1886. The autobiography begins with background and events remembered by Lena. Her diary continues to tell about her journey form Lorraine, New York to Temescal, California where she was accompanied by her "Auntie" Mary L. Bishop. The diary entry begins in 1886 August 24. She arrived at her home in Temescal October 17 of the same year.
There are intermittent entries from then on begining on 1886 December 26, 1887, May 7, 1889, and September, 1889. In her last entry, she writes as she prepares to go away to school.
Box 6, Folder 85

General Bidwell's letter of acceptance of the prohibition party candidacy for president 1892

Scope and Contents note

from George Wharton James Collection
Box 6, Folder 86

Memorial exercises for General John Bidwell, directed by Butte County Officers in Oroville, California Court House, 1900 May 7

Scope and Contents note

from George Wharton James Collection

Photographs and scrapbooks Series 7: 1869-1931

Box 12, Folder S9

Family Album late 1800s to early 1900s

Scope and contents

Includes photographs of the Bishop, Ellerbe, and Rolfe family members. Also includes images of the Bidwell family.
Box 7, Folder 88

"Miscellaneous Photographs" album 1902-1932

Scope and Contents note

This album includes photographs of Sierra Nevada Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains, Temescal Valley, San Bernardino County, mines in Southeast California, construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Los Angeles, and Catalina Island.
Box 7, Folder 89

Mt. San Jacinto and Palm Canyon photographs undated

Scope and contents

Photographed by Stephen H. Willard, Palm Springs, California. Only includes one image of St. Jacinto and one of Palm Canyon, both located in California.
Box 7, Folder 90

Ore wagon circa 1901

Scope and contents

Caption on photograph reads: "Picture of ore wagon on way to Bagdad Mines near Ludlow, [California] about 1901."
Box 7, Folder 91

Photo inventories undated

Scope and contents

This folder includes inventories for images in folder. Inventories were written on envelope, presumable by Rolfe.
Box 7, Folder 92

Riverside County photographs 1920s

Scope and contents

This folder includes loose mounted photographs of different locations in Riverside County, especially Temescal. Many are commercial images from the "South Riverside Series" by Shaffner's California Views company.
Box 7, Folder 93

Rolfe album images, duplicate copies and negatives 1924-1952

Scope and Contents note

Duplicates and negatives of many of the pictures used in Rolfe’s "History of Temescal" publication as well as duplicated images found in other photo albums. The specific years that these images were created are 1924, 1930, 1931, and 1952. Folder also includes original inventory created by Rolfe.
Box 7, Folder S10

"Temescal Pictures" album 1886-1949

Scope and contents

Scrapbook includes photographs of Temescal Valley, postcards and brochures from Glen Ivy Hot Springs, and newspaper clippings featuring Temescal Valley.

Existence and Location of Copies note

Duplicates of many of these images are also located in MS. 210, Box 7, Folder 93.
Box 7, Folder 94

"Touring Topics illustrations 1930-1931" circa 1930-1931

Scope and contents

Scrapbook includes clippings of articles and illustrations from Touring Topics magazine.
Box 8, Folder S1

California and Western United States scrapbook circa 1929

Scope and contents

This scrapbook includes pictures and articles from Touring Topics, a magazine of the California branch of the American Automobile Association. Many of the articles pertain to projects that Rolfe worked on, including Colorado River reclamation, borax mines, the Boulder Dam, and the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Album also contains photographs of California counties and neighboring regions including San Bernardino County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County, Kern County, San Luis Obispo County, Baja California, Mexico, the Colorado River Aqueduct, San Diego County, and Orange County.
Box 8, Folder S2

"Homes of Rolfe Family" album 1869-1959

Scope and contents

This album includes photographs of various Rolfe homes in Nevada and California. The pictures were taken from the late 1800s-1957, however the Rolfe family were residents of these homes from 1869 to the 1920s.
Box 8, Folder S3

"Persons" photo album circa 1893-1956

Scope and contents

This album includes photographs and portraits of various persons throughout Southern California. There are also some loose images places in the end pages of this album. Also included are picture postcards.
Box 12, Folder S8

Scrapbook of clippings by Allena Bishop circa 1870-1890

Biographical note

Allena Rolfe and Frances Bidwell were sisters. Allena Rolfe is also the mother of Frank Rolfe.

Scope and Contents note

Assembled by Mrs. Allena Rolfe and Mrs. Frances Bidwell. Includes articles on Temescal Valley, California; articles on the Serrano family; a typed letter from Lena Bidwell to her uncle Alenze, dated 1889 January 20; beauty and lifestyle advice columns; poetry; and other topics.
Box 8, Folder S5

Southern California album 1926

Scope and Contents note

This photo album consists of Southern California images that include celery fields, canyon streams, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Francisquito Canyon, Los Angeles Aqueduct, Orange County, Kern County, San Diego County, and Ventura County. Most of the images taken in the summer and fall of 1926. There are empty spaces in this album that only include captions with no image. These missing images are for locations in Montana and Wyoming.
Box 8, Folder S5

Southern California deserts, Oregon, and Washington album 1902-1920s

Scope and contents

Photographs in this album were taken at and around various irrigation and mining projects throughout the Western Unites States. Locations include the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California; Newlands Project, Nevada; Catalina Island; Truckee River; Lake Tahoe, California; Orange County, Los Angeles County; Los Angeles Harbor; San Diego County; Temescal Valley, Riverside County; Death Valley; San Bernardino County; Bagdad Mine, San Bernardino, California; Stateline, Nevada; Cascade Mountains, Washington; Frazier River Valley, near Westminster, British Columbia; Grant Pass, Oregon; Stump Springs, Nevada; Mt. Tallac, Lake Tahoe, California; Inyo County; California; Columbia River, Washington; Los Angeles Aqueduct; Mission San Juan Capistrano; Mission San Luis Rey; San Jacinto Mountains; Kern County; Hetch Hetchy Reservoir; Columbia River, Oregon; Lake Chelan, Washington; and Olympia, Washington.
Box 8, Folder S6

Southern Sierras, California album undated

Scope and contents

Full title of the album given by Rolfe is "Southern Sierras California near Giant Forest." Photographs of surveys and camps at Kearsarge Pass in Inyo National Forest, Kern Lake Kern River, Sequoia National Park, Owens Lake, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Black Rock Springs, Mt. Whitney, and a southern California desert.
Box 8, Folder S7

Utah scrapbook undated

Scope and contents

Color illustrations cut from a magazine of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Most of the photographs have been removed from the album. One photograph of a canal delta in Utah remains.