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Stanislaus Electric Power Company. Records, 1897-1917.
MANUSCRIPT Boxes 2322-2324
Collection Overview


Records, 1897-1917
Stanislaus Electric Power Company records, 1897-1917


Stanislaus Electric Power Company, creator


Veeder, Howard P., 1878-1923


Veeder, Herman G.


Thompson, Beach, 1865-1914


Sierra and San Francisco Power Company


Knickerbocker Trust Company


This collection documents the early days of hydroelectric power development in California as well as the infusion of eastern capital into California which occurred in the early 1900s. The collection includes the papers of two California businessmen, Howard P. Veeder and Beach Thompson, during their involvement with the Stanislaus Electric Power Company hydroelectric development project on the Stanislaus River, ca. 1898-1908. The materials in the collection are not comprehensive but a somewhat haphazzard assortment of both personal and business correspondence as well as official corporate documents. The materials have been organized into three series: Correspondence; Financial and Legal Documents; Miscellaneous.
CORRESPONDENCE: Prior to 1907 the bulk of the correspondence is between Howard P. Veeder and Herman G. Veeder, primarilly discussing the intricate financing of the Stanislaus Electric Power Company. After 1907 the correspondence is more varied; and, after 1910, Beach Thompson is the primary correspondent, conducting business as a director of the Sierra and San Francisco Power Company and negotiating his personal finances with the Knickerbocker Trust Co.
FINANCIAL AND LEGAL DOCUMENTS: The financial and legal aspects of the Stanislaus Electric Power Company were complex; the arrangement here is somewhat arbitrary. Major groupings are: Financial statements: Union Construction Company, 1906; San Domingo Mine, 1899-1908; Sierra and San Francisco Power Company, 1909-1912. Lists of stockholders and underwriters, 1905-1908. Personal financial notes (loans): Thompson-Veeder-Goodman, 1909; Thompson-Knickerbocker, 1909; Thompson-Others, 1906-1913. Financial proposals/arrangements/contracts: Water rights, 1898-1906; Thompson to Tucker, Anthony, and Company, 1905; Thompson to Union Construction Company, 1905; Stanislaus Electric Power Company to Knickerbocker Trust, 1906; Stanislaus Power Development Protective Committee, 1907-1908; San Domingo Mine and Ranch, 1908; Pacific Gas and Electric, 1909; Financing for Completion and Phase Two, 1909-1914.
Prospectus: Calaveras Ditch Company, 1900; Stanislaus Electric and Power Company, 1905; Sierra and San Francisco Power Company, 1909-1910. Miscellaneous: Title to A. B. Thompson residence; land surveys, 1895-1909; Thompson-Grant suit and agreement, 1906; Moffitt proxies, 1905, 1909. MISCELLANEOUS: Specifications for mechanical elevator; coin envelope and note, newspaper clippings, Union Construction Company envelope, other letterhead envelopes.


1897 (issued)


Box 2322: Correspondence. -- Box 2323: Financial and Legal Documents Series: financial statements; stockholder and underwriter lists; personal financial notes; financial proposals/arrangements/contracts. -- Box 2324: Financial and Legal Documents Series: prospectus, miscellaneous. -- Miscellaneous Series.


Stanislaus Electric Power Company -- Records and correspondence
Hydroelectric power plants -- California -- Stanislaus River -- History
Stanislaus River (Calif.) -- Power utilization -- History
Veeder, Howard P -- 1878-1923 -- Correspondence
Veeder, Herman G -- Correspondence
Thompson, Beach -- 1865-1914 -- Correspondence
Capitalists and financiers -- California -- Correspondence
Gold mines and mining -- California -- Calaveras County -- History
Hydraulic mining -- California -- Calaveras County -- History


In 1908 the Stanislaus Electric Power Company began supplying power to Pacific Gas and Electric in San Jose, bringing to a successful conclusion one of the earlier hydroelectric development projects in the state. The project was the outgrowth of several intertwined business deals involving California businessmen Beach Thompson and his brother-in-law, Howard P. Veeder. Initially they were involved (along with H. P. Goodman and Veeder's cousin, Herman G. Veeder) in a hydraulic gold mining operation, the San Domingo Gold Mining Co. located near Murphys in Calaveras County. In the late 1890s and early 1900s the company began purchasing water rights in Tuolumne County to develop their operation which had two facets, hydraulic mining and hydroelectric power. One acquisition involved lands owned by William H. Crocker near Kennedy Meadows.
The proposed hydroelectric development plan involved a dam and water storage site on the upper middle fork of the Stanislaus River at Relief and a diversion dam, fifteen miles of flume and a powerhouse near Camp Nine, southwest of Vallecito. Part of the water from Forebay Reservoir which would supply the powerhouse was to be piped across the river and reach the San Domingo Mine. In 1905 several corporations were established to complete the project. The most prominent was the Stanislaus Electric Power Company incorporated in Hartford, Conn., by Tucker, Anthony, and Company, a Boston banking firm, and other capitalists. Other corporations involved were the Stanislaus Water and Power Company (including Thompson and the Veeders), the Union Construction Company, and the Knickerbocker Trust Company.
Construction began in 1905 and was completed by 1908 despite the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and the 1907 New York financial panic which stressed financial arrangements. Engineering of the powerhouse and transmission lines was state of the art for the period; the powerhouse provided more than 40,000 horsepower and there were over 100 miles of steel tower transmission line. Power generation continued for several decades while the controlling corporation changed in 1909 to the Sierra and San Francisco Power Co. which was subsequently acquired by Pacific Gas and Electric. The powerhouse was removed in the early 1960s but several of the original transmission towers are still in use near Telegraph in Calaveras County.
Stanislaus Electric Power Company records, 1897-1917
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.



Physical Description:

3 ms. boxes (ca. 534 items) : ill.




MANUSCRIPT Boxes 2322-2324



Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.