Guide to the Marsden Manson papers, 1887-1937

Processed by Linda Jordan
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 2002
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Marsden Manson papers, 1887-1937

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 416

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
Linda Jordan
Date Completed:
November 2000
Encoded by:
Xiuzhi Zhou
© 2002 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Marsden Manson Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1887-1937
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 416
Creator: Manson, Marsden, 1850-1931
Extent: Number of containers: 2 cartons, 13 oversize folders Linear feet: 3.0
Repository: The Bancroft Library.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Chiefly pertaining to his office as San Francisco City Engineer, 1908-1912, and concerning the city's water supply, particularly the Hetch Hetchy Valley and Lake Eleanor, and the Spring Valley Water Company.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Marsden Manson papers, BANC MSS C-B 416, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Related Collections

Title: M.M. O'Shaughnessy Papers,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 92/808 c
Title: Spring Valley Water Company Records,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-G 189
Title: John S. Eastwood Papers, Collection
#EASTWOOD, Water Resources Center Archive
Title: Marsden Manson Collected Papers,
QE702.M22, Earth Sciences and Maps Library

Material Cataloged Separately

Photographs have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.
Identifier/Call Number: (BANC PIC 1945.013)

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Marsden Manson Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by Mrs. Marsden Manson in May 1944.

Biographical Chronology

1850 Born in Virginia on February 14th.
1873 Received Bachelor of Science and Civil Engineering degrees at the Virginia Military Institute, and served on the faculty for several years after graduation.
1883-1892 Served as Chief Engineer for the State Harbor Commission, San Francisco,
1893 Received Ph.D. in Engineering, University of California.
1894-1896 Served as Engineer, California Highway Department.
1897-1900 Appointed to the Board of Engineers, San Francisco Drainage Committee.
1901-1907 Served as Consulting Engineer, San Francisco Public Works Department.
1908-1912 Served as San Francisco City Engineer.
1922 Published book, "The Evolution of Climate".
1931 Died at his home in Berkeley, Calif. on February 21st.

Scope and Content

The Marsden Manson Papers, 1887-1937, consist of a selection of correspondence, manuscripts, and professional papers that span his professional career from 1887 to 1931. Much of the material deals with Manson's tenure as San Francisco City Engineer from 1908 to 1912, but his writing and research activities are also well documented.
Manson's major correspondents include A. H. Giannini, William Hammond Hall, and Gifford Pinchot. His writings include an annotated draft of The Evolution of Climate, plus many articles and reports written primarily for the San Francisco Board of Public Works. Much of this material relates to San Francisco's water supply, Hetch Hetchy, and Spring Valley Water Company. His research materials contain pamphlets, subject files, and a small map collection, while ephemera includes an invitation to the inauguration of O'Shaughnessy Dam in 1923, and clippings concerning Manson's engineering work from 1906 to 1929.
Printed materials, maps, and reports relating to Manson can also be found elsewhere on the University of California, Berkeley campus, including the Earth Sciences and Maps Library, and the Water Resources Center Archive.

Carton 1, folders 1-48

Series 1: Correspondence, 1887-1929.

Scope and Content Note


Arranged alphabetically.
Contains a small selection of letters that focus on Manson's interests in San Francisco city planning and water needs. Manson's replies are usually filed with the incoming letters. A few files of outgoing letters, primarily from his tenure as San Francisco City Engineer from 1908 to 1912, are filed, chronologically, at the end of the series
Ctn. 1, folder 1

Ammen, R. S. 1911

folder 2

Bartlett, George F. 1912

folder 3

Beckhard, Bruno 1910

folder 4

Dennett, L. L. 1908

folder 5

Fitzgerald, Desmond, 1846-1926 1908

folder 6

Freeman, John R. 1912-14

folder 7

Galloway, John Debo, 1869-1943 1909-11

folder 8

Garfield, James Rudolph, 1865-1950 1909-10

folder 9

Giannini, A. H. (Attilio Henry), 1874- 1909

folder 10

Grunsky, C. E. (Carl Ewald), 1855-1934 1909

folder 11

Hall, Wm. Ham. (William Hammond) 1912

folder 12

Hodghead, Beverly L. (Beverly Lacy), 1865-1928 1911

folder 13

Hughes, Thomas McKenny, 1832-1917 1908

folder 14

Jepson, Willis Linn, 1867-1946 1911

folder 15

Keys, C. M. 1909

folder 16

Knowland, Joseph R. (Joseph Russell), 1873-1966 1929

folder 17

Law, Hartland 1911

folder 18

Lindley, Curtis H. (Curtis Holbrook), 1850-1920 1908-11

folder 19

Long, Percy V. (Percy Vincent), 1870-1953 1908-11, 1929

folder 20

Loughrin, Robert 1908

folder 21

Lubbert, A. 1929

folder 22

Marx, Charles D. (Charles David), 1857-1939 1909

folder 23

Mathews, Ernest R. 1910

folder 24

Mathews, John Lathrop, 1874- 1910

folder 25

McFarland, J. Horace (John Horace), 1859-1948 1909

folder 26

Olney, Warren, 1841-1921 1909-10

folder 27

Overend, E. J. 1911

folder 28

Park, J. 1911

folder 29

Phelan, James D. (James Duval), 1861-1930 1927

folder 30

Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946 1908-10

folder 31

Plehn, Carl Copping, 1867-1945 1908

folder 32

Pollock, Allan 1908

folder 33

Raker, John E. (John Edward), 1863-1926 1911

folder 34

Reed, Charles Wesley 1909

folder 35

Sherman, Caroline Kempton, 1842- 1909-10

folder 36

Spelling, T. C. 1911

folder 37

Stocklager, S. M. 1909-10

folder 38

Taylor, Edward Robeson, 1838-1923 1908-10

folder 39

United States. Dept. of the Interior 1908-20

folder 40

United States. Forest Service 1909

folder 41

Von Geldern, Otto 1912

folder 42

Whitman, Edmund A. (Edmund Allen), 1860- 1909

folder 43

Woodruff, George W. (George Washington) 1908-12

folder 44-48

Outgoing correspondence 1887-1917

Carton 1, folders 49-84

Series 2: Writings, 1891-1929.

Scope and Content Note


Arranged chronologically.
Divided into 3 sub-series: Book, Articles, and Reports, all listed by title. Manson's book and articles reflect his various interests in climate, water rights, and hydro-electric power. Reports, created during his tenure as San Francisco City Engineer, focus on San Francisco's need for an outside water source, and include detailed information on Hetch Hetchy and Spring Valley Water Company. Unless noted as including typescripts with revisions or annotations, and notes, Manson's writings are represented only by printed copies of the published works, which may also include his annotations.

Book, 1922

Ctn. 1, folder 49-51

The Evolution of Climate

Typescript with corrections, bound printer's proofs, with corrections, review


Articles, 1891-1929

Ctn. 1, folder 52

"The Cause of the Glacial Period and an Explanation of Geological Climates" 1891

folder 53

"Physical and Geological Traces of Permanent Cyclone Belts" 1893

folder 54

"A Brief History of Road Conditions and Legislation in California" 1902

folder 55


[in American Geologist, v. 32]

folder 56

"The Reclamation of a Mountain Swamp" 1904

folder 57

"Climats des Temps Geologiques" 1906

folder 58

"The Significance of Early and of Pleistocene Glaciations" 1906

folder 59

"Advantages of Tuolumne River as a Source of Domestic Water Supply" 1907

folder 60

"An Attempt to Explain the Evidences of Glacial Action during the Permian" 1907

folder 61

"Cacoethes Verbifaciendi: That Makes the Fearful and Wonderful Lingo of Science"

Typescript with corrections

folder 62

"Problems of Today Before San Francisco and the State" 1911

folder 63

"To Buy Spring Valley" 1911

folder 64

"A Consummation Devoutly to be Wished" 1918

folder 65

"Progressive Deglaciation and the Amelioration of Climate" 1918

folder 66

"Hydro-Electric Power and It's Development" 1919

folder 67

"The evolution of Climates: a Rejoinder" 1922

oversize Oversize, folder 1 A

"The Physical and Geological Traces of the Cyclone Belt Across North America" 1924

Ctn. 1, folder 68

"The Unsatisfactory Status of the Glacial Controversy" 1925

folder 69

"The Mississippi River Floods: A Problem for Master Minds of Engineers and Statesmen" 1927

oversize Oversize, folder 2 A

"The Status of Climatology of the Ages" 1929

Ctn. 1, folder 70

"San Francisco's Side of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Matter" n.d.


Reports, 1906-1927

Ctn. 1, folder 71

San Francisco Water Supply Investigations: Mokelumne River as Reinforcing Supply to Lake Eleanor

Typescript and notes

folder 72

Water Supply Investigations

by Marsden Manson and J. R. Price

folder 73

Plans for an Auxiliary Water Supply System for Fire Protection, Contract No. 14 Carbon typescript with corrections 1908

folder 74-76

Summary Reports to the San Francisco Board of Public Works


folder 77

Exchange of Lands Between the U.S. Government and San Francisco 1909

folder 78

Hetch Hetchy Water Supply

Typescript with corrections

folder 79

San Francisco Bureau of Engineering Budget

Carbon typescript

folder 80

San Francisco Daily and Per Capita Water Consumption

Print copy and notes

folder 81

Sierra Blue Lakes Water and Power Company's Offer to San Francisco 1911

folder 82

Total Estimate of the Cost of Building an Aqueduct for the Purpose of a Municipal Water Supply for the City and County of San Francisco, from Tuolumne River Sources Typescript and notes 1911-12

folder 83

San Francisco Water Supply Investigations: Tuolumne River Project Under the Permit of May 11, 1908

Typescript drafts with corrections and notes

folder 84

Conditions and Possibilities for Power Development on Merced River, California

Carbon typescript and notes

folder 85

Notes and Descriptions of Lands In and Adjacent to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Site

Typescript with corrections and notes

folder 86

Proposed Water Supply

Typescript with corrections and notes

folder 87

Protection of Water Rights on the Basins of Tuolumne River and Lake Eleanor

Typescript with corrections and notes

folder 88

San Francisco Water Supply: Feather River Project

Typescript with corrections and notes

folder 89

Sierra Highway


folder 90

Water Supply for San Francisco from the Snow Mountain Water and Power Company's Watershed

Carbon typescript

folder 91

What is an Available Source Under Federal Law?

Carbon typescript.

folder 92-96

Miscellaneous notes and outlines 1911-13, 1927, n.d.

Carton 2, folders 1-40; Oversize Folders 1-10

Series 3: Research Materials, 1890-1937.

Scope and Content Note


Arranged alphabetically.
Divided into 3 sub-series: Engineers' Reports (listed by author), Subject Files (listed by topic), and Maps (listed by title). The materials that focus on climate and geology were probably used to help create Manson's book, "The Evolution of Climate," while the remaining subject files and maps relate to his interest in water supply and consumption in California. Pamphlets and other materials in the subject files compiled by Manson are heavily annotated.

Engineers' Reports, 1903-1921


Earl, W. H.

Ctn. 2, folder 1

Report on the Irrigation of Honey Lake and Willow Creek Valley 1906


Ellis, Randall N.

folder 2

[... Notes connected with the Hydraulic System of the Standard Electric Company...] 1906


F. G. Baum & Company

folder 3

Report on the Proposed Power Project on the Merced River and Preliminary Report on Power Possibilities on Merced River 1909


Freeman, John Ripley

folder 4

On the Proposed Use of a Portion of the Hetch Hetchy, Eleanor and Cherry Valleys 1912


Hall, Leon M.

folder 5

Report upon the Hydro-electric Power Development on the Merced River Electric Power Company 1921


Hazen, P. J.

folder 6

[Copy of brief of] Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District, in regard to application of James D. Phelan and others for certain reservoir sites ... in Yosemite National Park 1903


Hopson, E. G.

folder 7

Report on Tuolumne River Supply For San Francisco, with appendix 1909


Marx, C. D. and J. D. Galloway

folder 8

Summary of conclusions in ... appraising the Value of Certain Claims by William Hammond Hall at Lake Eleanor and on Eleanor Creek 1909


McClure, Wilbur F.

folder 9

Flood Control Report #9, Sutter Basin Soil Survey 1913


Woodward, Thomas P.

folder 10-11

Report on the American-Cosumnes Water Project and the Blue Lakes-Mokelumne Water Project 1906


Report of the Sub-committee on Water Supply and Fire Protection to the Committee on the Reconstruction of San Francisco 1906


Subject Files, 1905-1937

Ctn. 2, folder 12

California Water Legislation 1905-16

oversize Oversize, folder 3 A

California Water and Power Act n.d.

Ctn. 2, folder 13-15

Climate 1906-27

folder 16

Commonwealth Club of California, Section on Bay Cities Water Supply Minutes of meetings and report 1924

folder 17-21

Hetch Hetchy 1907-37

folder 22

Mount Diablo Meridian 1911

oversize Oversize, folder 4 A

O'Shaughnessy Dam 1931

Ctn. 2, folder 23-25

San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Resolutions and Ordinances 1906-12

folder 26-30

San Francisco City Planning 1908-28

folder 31-36

Spring Valley Water Company 1909-21

folder 37

Tuolumne Water Supply Company 1911

folder 38

Yuba Consolidated Gold Fields 1916


Maps, 1890-1913

oversize Oversize, folder 5 A

American-Cosumnes and Tuolumne Catchment Area 1906

oversize Oversize, folder 6 B

Augustus H. Ward Ranch n.d.

oversize Oversize, folder 7 A

Catskill, New York, Rainfall Base of Watersheds n.d.

oversize Oversize, folder 8 A

McCloud River, California 1911

oversize Oversize, folder 9 C

Merced River Electric Power Company 1913

oversize Oversize, folder 10 C

Sacramento Valley 1890

oversize Oversize, folder 11 C

San Francisco City and County 1913

oversize Oversize, folder 12 C

Sierra Forest Reserve n.d.

oversize Oversize, folder 13 C

Yosemite National Park 1905

Carton 2, folders 41-43, v. 1

Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1892-1931.

Scope and Content Note

Contains ephemera, including an invitation to the inauguration of O'Shaughnessy Dam, a scrapbook with loose pages of clippings from California newspapers concerning water issues in the West, 1892-1931, and clippings relating to Manson's engineering work from 1906 to 1929.
Ctn. 2, folder 39

Ephemera 1923-27, n.d.

folder 40-41

Water Issues scrapbook and loose pages 1892-1931

folder 42

Clippings 1906-29