Los Angeles, Owens Valley, Los Angeles Times discussed on American History Tellers


He brought his sons to a long caterpillar of headlines. Stretch down the highway. If anyone the city aqueduct guards were to see this. They've definitely sound the alarm. But that's the point. Your father talks without taking his eyes off the road. Now when we get there I want what she poises. Stand the car but you almost laugh. There's no chance you're staying. Karn your rifle is in the trunk right along side. Your Father Shotgun. You all came armed. The convoy finally arrives at the Alabama Gate Spillway with light just beginning to form on the horizon. You can see the bridge. On the Small Triangle Roof Gate Gate House that sits straddle across it. If you butterflies in your stomach but you push them down. This is about maintaining a hold on your community. It's about at life and death. The city has always taken what I wanted. But now you're going to take it back as your father exits the car and grabs his shotgun from the trunk voices erupt in the the distance. Where you are what you down? We just want the water. But you're focused on your father standing with his shotgun. I'M GONNA go in with mark you all stay here. It shouldn't take long to get the gate wheels. Turn the guards. No we outnumber them so. Don't do anything stupid okay. We're not here to hurt anyone understand non if you understand me. Your father joins Mr Watterson. They set off towards the House with a triangle roof. Pair of lights are blinking inside inside. But it's hard to tell what's going on in the distance you grip your rifle tied to your chest glance at the men around you. No one is speaking. Your job is to stand I ant here and wait I the water will come then. The men from the city will come. That's all part of the plan. But what if the plan goes wrong at dawn. On Sunday November Sixteenth Mark Watterson led a caravan of cars to Alabama Gate. Spillway along the aqueduct. Line line in the past. When the aqueduct flow was running to hi- the gates were used to drain the excess water into the Desert Valley but now waterson? His Caravan sees the gate house us and turned the five huge wheel. Sending thousands of gallons of water destined for Los Angeles spilling down the hill washing uselessly into the desert. When this has been done done the men stayed setting up armed guards along the perimeter the La Aqueduct have been seized by the citizens of Inyo County? If the city wanted their water back they would have to come come and take it in disbelief and rage. Mulholland sent armed guards from Los Angeles North immediately to retake the gate house but when the guards arrived they they found seen very different from what they expected. Several hundred Owens Valley residents including women and children had gathered around the gate house. They were singing songs and cooking. Food food local law enforcement through their hands worn for arrests were simply tossed into the river. The county sheriff openly declared his support for the blockade dumbfounded the Los Angeles guards retreated wondering what they were supposed to do. They couldn't murder hundreds of women and children so for four days. The seizure of the Los Angeles aqueduct blossomed listened into a giant campsite. The entire Owens valley rally behind the action nearby ranchers offered cattle for barbecues Western film star. Tom Mix who was filming. Nearby halted all work onset brought his crew in Mariuchi banned in Bishop someone painted a billboard that read. If I am not on the job you can find finding the aqueduct. All throughout the celebrations. Not a drop of water was headed south to Los Angeles back in the city disgusted. William Mahone saw that even the Los Angeles Times had sympathy for the blockaders writing. These farmers are not anarchists or bomb throwers growers. But in the main honest hard working American citizens they put themselves hopelessly in the wrong by taking the law into their own hands but there is still a measure of justice on their side. Well mark led the standoff at the Alabama Gate. His brother Wilfred traveled to Los Angeles to meet with a group of city. Bankers negotiating on behalf of the Owens Valley or Gatien Asian District Wilford asked for nine million dollars in exchange for collective land and water rights. Along with the money the valley would be developed to make it more attractive to tourism mm-hmm. The bankers were excited about the prospects in a telegram to his brother. An enthusiastic wilford wrote if the object of the crowd at the spillway to bring their wrongs to the attention of the citizens of Los Angeles. They have done so one hundred percent so after four days the standoff at the gates came to a peaceful resolution Wilfred Fred boarded a train home. The bankers known as the Joint Clearinghouse Association had accepted Wolford's terms of sale when he was in Los Angeles but by the time he arrived and bishop they'd changed their mind. The Joint Clearinghouse Association abruptly announced that nine million dollars was too much to pay at the present time. No other explanation was offered. Wilfrid was devastated. He had put his best foot forward for his community and been let down. He felt that was the last chance for meaningful compromise. Despite the failure the Owens River valley community remained resolute in their opposition to the city of Los Angeles for the next three years city agents continued to buy more land while farmers and ranchers took matters and explosives into their own hands and the spring of nineteen twenty twenty seven the remaining members of the Owens Valley Irrigation Association pool their money and bought an ad in the Los Angeles Times. It read we the farming communities of Owens Valley being about to die salute you but it was not a capitulation. It was a battle cry a month after the ad appeared. One of the largest Just steel siphons along the aqueduct line was blown up the very next night. Another explosion ripped out sixty more feet of pipe. Los Angeles responded by deploying private the detectives to the Bali armed with winchesters. Tommy guns orders that they could shoot to kill anyone loitering near the aqueduct but more dynamiting sprees followed fourteen fourteen explosions and just two months by the middle of June. A train of one hundred aren't Los Angeles Reserve.

Coming up next