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Owens Valley Water Wars Reference File and Correspondence from the personal file of Senator, Joseph E. Riley, 1924-1938.
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Owens Valley Water Wars Reference File and Correspondence from the personal file of Senator, Joseph E. Riley, 1924-1938
Owens Valley Water Wars material, 1924-1938


Riley, Joseph Edward, 1896-1962, creator


Riley, Joseph Edward, 1896-1962


This collection represents California's 28th Senatorial District Senator, Joe Riley's personal file (1925-1938) regarding the "Inyo County Matter," also referred to as the "Owens Valley Water Wars." Included are letters, telegrams, memos, proposals, property appraisal data, contracts, options, offers, counter-offers, litigation material and pamphlets from the Department of Water and Power of the City of Los Angeles, Senator Joe Riley, representatives of the Bishop community and representatives of other Owens River Valley communities.


1924 (issued)


Arrangement is in original order as listed in the Table of Contents: Folders: 1. Historical Sketch. -- 2. Table of Contents. -- 3. Radio Broadcast transcripts. -- 4. Transcript for Disincorporation. -- 5. J.E. Riley correspondence re: "Inyo County Matter." -- 6. Typed appraisals. -- 7. Telegrams. -- 8. Letters from Joe Riley to Rev. Albert Eby and Hon. Frank L. Shaw. -- 9. Summary of F.H. Arcularius ranch offers, 1929-1932. -- 10. Memorandum of properties to be conveyed to the City of L.A. with study of values.
Folders: 11. Injunction & Damage Suit list. -- 12. Bishop properties appraisal. -- 13. Letters, Joe Riley to Harry Englebright. -- 14. Senate Investigative Committee report, 1931. -- 15. Letter, B.E. Johnson to Joe Riley. -- 16. Parcel appraisal with opposing L.A. appraisal. -- 17. Fraternal Organizations and churches appraisal. -- 18. Appraisal lists. -- 19. "Main Street Pool." -- 20. "Bishop Pool" purchase price.
Folders: 21. Letter, Board of Power and Water Commissioners of City of L.A. for land purchase in Owens Valley. -- 22. Tabulation, Johnson-Riley "Bishop Town Pool." -- 23. George Warren notes of 1924. -- 24. Sample postcards. -- 25. "Bishop Pool" statement signatures. -- 26. Senate Daily Journal, March 2, 1931. -- 27. Wallis McPherson letter. -- 28. Calif. Legislature communication. -- 29. Disincorporation option. -- 30. Property in private ownership list.
Folders: 31. Oscar Cummins letter. -- 32. DWP Legal Division letter. -- 33. Signed option by Medora Collins. -- 34. (25) letters. -- 35. DWP letter to Joe Riley re: purchasing land in Owens Valley. -- 36. Joe Riley's file of appraisals and permutations with signaturess. -- 37. (15) Joe Riley communications, 1933-1934. -- 38. Letter draft to Haas Baruch & Co., c/o Mr. Macmanamy. -- 39. Telegrams. -- 40. Letter, dated 1958, and L.A. Total Roll. -- 41. (2) Newspaper clippings.


Riley, Joseph Edward -- 1896-1962
Los Angeles (Calif.). $ b Dept. of Water and Power.
Water -- California -- Owens Valley
Water rights -- California -- Owens Valley -- History
Water rights -- California -- Los Angeles -- History
Owens Valley (Calif.) -- History
Owens River Valley (Calif.) -- History
Bishop (Calif.) -- History


Owens Valley Water Wars material, 1924-1938.
Unrestricted. Please Credit California State Library.
Joseph E. Riley was elected to the 28th State Senatorial District in 1930 and served Inyo and Mono Counties until 1934. In March of 1931 State Senator Joseph Riley introduced a resolution into the Senate asking that a committee be appointed and sent into Owens Valley to investigate the record of the City of Los Angeles and report on the findings, which are addressed in the historical sketch.
Owens Valley flourished and prospered as an agricultural area of California prior to 1923. The diversion of water from Owens Valley for the purpose of development in the Los Angeles vicinity, over time, transformed Owens Valley to near desert conditions with drained resources and reduced value of land and business properties for the communities. The complex interaction and politics between the communities of Owens Valley and the developers of Los Angeles became known as the Owens Valley Water Wars.
The historical sketch is entitled "The Owens Valley and the Los Angeles Water Controversy--The Final Chapter." The subtitle is, "Significant Historical Offering: State Senator Joe Riley's Personal File Documenting the Final Battle of the Peoples of the Owens Valley vs. the City of Los Angeles." The personal files of Senator Joe Riley, combined with the historical sketch, give primary resource information regarding the interaction between the City of Los Angeles and Owens Valley between 1925 and 1938.

Physical Description:

1 archival box ; 39 x 31 x 8 cm.







Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please Credit California State Library.