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Inventory of the California State Reclamation Board Records
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: California State Reclamation Board Records
    Dates: 1904-1969
    Collection number: F3336
    Creator: Reclamation Board
    Collection Size: 15 cubic feet and 215 volumes
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: This record group contains the administrative, legal, and financial records of the California State Reclamation Board established in 1911.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in this collection: English

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions will be noted in the series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Reclamation Board Records, F3336:[folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Agency History

    The Board of Swamp Land Commissioners, established in 1861 (Chapter 352), was the first state agency involved with reclamation in California. In 1866, this board was abolished and its responsibilities and powers transferred to the county boards of supervisors (Statutes of 1865-1966, Chapter 570). Between 1866 and 1911 the Reclamation Fund Commissioners, Board of Commissioners of the Sacramento River Drainage District, Department of Engineering, Board of Drainage Commissioners, and Sacramento Drainage District were established and abolished, either being declared unconstitutional or having failed in their goals.
    No overall plan of flood control for the Central Valley succeeded until the Reclamation Board was organized (Statutes of 1911, 1st Ex. Sess., Chapter 25) at the recommendation of the California Debris Commission, an agency of the Federal Government. The board, concerned with flood control activities in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, included within its responsibilities the preservation and improvement of navigation and the reclamation and protection of lands susceptible to overflow.
    In 1913, the Reclamation Board Act (Chapter 170) was amended to provide for a board of seven members "appointed by and to hold office at the pleasure of the Governor..." The Board continued as an independent administrative agency and was composed of four divisions: Administration, Accounting, Assessment, and Engineering.
    The Director of Finance became executive officer of the Reclamation Board "for the purpose of reporting to the Governor's Council..." in 1929 (Chapter 336). Although a Division of Reclamation was organized within the Department of Finance, the Board functioned independently.
    In 1956, the Board was placed under the Department of Water Resources to facilitate cooperation in all matters of mutual concern (Statutes of 1956, Chapter 52).
    Effective January 1, 2008, Chapter 365 (Statutes of 2007) changed the name of the Reclamation Board to the Central Valley Flood Protection Board.

    Scope and Content

    This record group contains the records of California State Reclamation Board. The bulk of the records were created between 1912 and 1969. The record group is a significant source for records regarding water rights, reclamation, and flood control in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys during the first half of the twentieth century.
    The record group is organized into twenty-two record series. The Minutes, Board Correspondence, Engineer's General Correspondence, General Correspondence, and Subject Files contain administrative records from the board. The Contracts, Subcontracts and Related Records series and Legal Cases series contain legal records of the board. Researchers interested in assessment records should review the Farm Data Records; Plans and Estimates; Design and Computation Records; and the Description and Collection Lists series. Fiscal records of the board can be found in the Questionnaires and Annual Expenditure Reports; Claim Registers and Related Records; Warrant Registers, Journals, and Related Records; Journal Vouchers; Cash Books; Cost Analysis Ledgers; General Ledgers; and Accounting Ledgers and Related Records series.


    Further accruals are expected.

    Indexing Terms

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

    Related Material

    For information on reclamation in California prior to the establishment of the Reclamation Board in 1911, see the following record groups.
    (Controller's Office) Sacramento County Board of Supervisors accounting ledger (1868-1871) relates to contract payment acknowledgements, swamp land district financial summaries, and lists of warrants outstanding against each Sacramento County Swamp Land District, (#3060). (F3900:525).
    (Petitions to the Legislature) State Engineer William Ham Hall correspondence includes monthly progress reports and related correspondence covering such topics as supplies for survey parties, amount of reclamation work completed, number of personnel employed, drafting of sectional maps, hydrographical surveys, hydraulic mining, drainage and debris work, and State Engineering Commission on Rivers and Harbors; 1878, 1882-1904 (F3748:1-41).
    (Engineering Department) Water Rights Abstract Ledgers for Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties relate to geographical locations of water rights and include entry number, filing date, claimant's name, description and location of water rights e.g. all water of the Arroyo Seco and its tributaries, means of conduction and nature or type of use such as mining, irrigating, etc.; 1861-80, (F3772:1-2). State Engineer's Daily Log relates to attendance at meetings, inspection of project sites, and official appointments, 1907-09, (F3772:3).
    (Engineering Department) San Joaquin Valley and Great Central Valley Topography and Irrigation Maps, 1885-88, (MC2:9 [37-73]).
    (Governor's Office) Board of Commissioners of the Sacramento River Drainage District Biennial Report (1910) relates to such subjects as formation of the River Improvement and Drainage Association of California, passage of the Sacramento Drainage Act, establishment of the Board of Commissioners of the Sacramento Drainage District, resurvey of district boundaries, recommendations for the distribution of assessment monies, lists of county assessments, and remaining balance in the Sacramento Drainage Fund, (GP4:153).
    (Governor's Office) California Debris Commission report (1910) relates to flood relief for the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys including regulation of hydraulic mining, improvement of navigation, flood and drought relief, a history of the channel system, U.S. Geological survey data, flood flow statistical comparisons, and recommendations, (GP4:150).
    (Secretary of State) Correspondence from Surveyor General related to approval of survey maps, county surveyors' Swamp Land Segregation Returns (statements defining land designations e.g. 98, 842 acres of Swamp Lands of which 26, 385 acres reported by U.S. Survey and 41, 454 72/100 acres are in townships, etc.) and lists of Swamp and Overflowed Lands, (F3617:570).
    (Surveyor General Records)