The Los Angeles Aqueduct was instrumental in opening up the Fremont Valley for settlement. There were few settlers in the valley before the start of the aqueduct, but the building of a railroad through the area not only reduced the costs of shipping of agricultural products but also make land available or sale as the Southern Pacific was granted land by the government as an incentive to build the railroad.
The Historical Sketch of the Los Angeles Aqueduct compiled by the Times-Mirror in 1913 described the idea of the aqueduct as follows:
“This is a story of a dream that came true; of an idea audaciously conceived and splendidly realized. It is an outline sketch of the history of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the great conduit of concrete and steel that a river across hundreds of miles of desert and through mountains to make possible the building in California’s sunny southland of one of the wonder cities of the world.”
It goes on to say:
“The construction of the aqueduct that brings the waters of the Owens River across 250 miles of desolate and rugged country to the city of Los Angeles has set a new standard of public service for American Municipalities. No other public work at all comparable in magnitude to the aqueduct has been accomplished within the limits of cost and time fixed by the engineers in their first estimates. It is not an exaggeration to say the builders of the aqueduct have established a world’s record of efficiency and economy. They promised that the work should be done in five years and water delivered at the San Fernando reservoir at a cost of $23,000,000. They began work in 1908, and they have brought the water to San Fernando in 1913 at a cost within the original estimate.”
Before work could be begun on the aqueduct, it was necessary to build roads and trails, power plants, telegraph and telephone lines and provide water supply for camps established along150 miles. Included in the work were 215 miles of road, 230 miles of pipe line, 218 miles of power transmission line and 377 miles of telegraph and telephone line. Fifty seven camps were established along the line of work, most of them in the mountains, and good roads made to each of them. Some of the roads challenge comparison with the finest mountain roads in California, and all of them are better than the stage roads existing in the desert before the city began its work.”
The stretch of aqueduct from Red Rock Canyon past Pine Canyon to the Antelope valley of 18.66 miles was the most expensive per mile of the entire aqueduct. At an overall cost of $23,000,000 for 250 miles the average cost per mile was $92,000. The estimated cost of construction for the 18.66 miles through the mountains adjacent to the Fremont Valley was $2,760.900 as reported in the First Annual Report of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, or an average of $147,958 per mile.
The Engineering Record described the work in this section in their Volume 59, January to June, 1909 as follows:
“Division 7, surnamed the “Jawbone,” comprises 22 ½ miles of the heaviest work on the aqueduct, and was justly considered by those in authority as one of the primary points of attack. The route, as finally located, pierces the very heart of the hills at an elevation of nearly a thousand feet above the desert level, a situation requiring the utmost ingenuity to provide suitable and economical methods of transportation. Recognizing this, effective measures were taken as early as the spring of 1908, roads being located in such manner as to place the heaviest work within easy reach of the main points of distribution.
A maximum grade of 6 per cent, was found possible over the main or “trunk line” roads through development on adjacent ridges, and lateral roads established to all important camp sites and tunnel headings. A total of 35 miles of main and branch road, and 45 miles of pack trail were completed at a cost of $60,000.
Simultaneously, the question of an adequate water supply was thoroughly investigated, resulting in the laying of a 4 and 2-inch line from Sage Canyon to a point near the center of the division, a distance of 30 miles. To supply the southern end of the work, wells were driven in the Tehachapi Valley, a reservoir constructed and a pipe laid 26 miles to a connecting point. This line unlike the Sage Canyon line, them which parallels the location closely, is laid on the desert level, 2 in. laterals of considerable length penetrating each canyon and extending wherever necessary. Subsidiary pumping plants have also been arranged in connection with wells driven in known water-bearing washes to provide against possible shortage during the dry season.
Advertisement of this work resulting in proposals largely in excess of the engineer’s estimates, all bids were rejected and the work commenced on a force account basis. Remarkable process has been accomplished under the direction of A. C. Hansen and his superintendents, 7100 ft. of tunnel having been driven during the month of December at a cost of practically one-half of the lowest contract price. In all fifty headings have been opened and eight tunnels completed as to excavation, with a total length of 15,994 ft. Concrete mixers and rock crushers, and the lining of tunnels and open conduit will be vigorously prosecuted. An electric shovel of special design has been started at the upper end of the division to provide for conduit excavation, and will be closely followed by concrete gangs placing lining and cover.
In April of 1908 the Los Angeles Herald reported that the plans and specifications or the Jawbone section were ready to be put out for bid. The section had grown to twenty-three miles and the estimate was not $3,000,000 or $138, 435 per mile, and according to the Historical Sketch did not include the cost of the steel siphons. Seven bids were received but on the advice of the Chief Engineer were rejected and the work was undertaken by day labor. A. C. Hanson was put in charge and he accomplished the construction of this the most difficult portion of the aqueduct in half the time estimated by the potential contractors and at a cost of $700,000 lower than the lowest bidder.
The Historical Sketch of the Los Angeles Aqueduct quoted Mulholland as saying:
“It is rough on top, but we are not going to dig on top. The aqueduct will go under all that, and when you are underground the character of the surface is negligible. When you buy a piece of pork you don’t have to eat the bristles.”
The sketch then describes in detail the how he was going to avoid “The Bristles on The Pork.”
The aqueduct passes through the mountains of Jawbone Division in series of tunnels of varying length, connected by short stretches of conduit, and crossing the deeper and wider canyons in inverted steel siphons. The Jawbone division consists of 12.07 miles of tunnel, 7.47 miles of conduit, .04 of a mile of flume, and 2.2 miles of steel siphon. The Jawbone siphon is the most imposing piece of work on the aqueduct. Its total length is 8136 feet and it varies from 7 feet 6 inches to 10 feet in diameter. The steel plate of which this pipe is built is 1 1/8 inch thick in the heaviest section. The maximum head on the pipe is 850 feet, and it total weight is 3243 tons. It is the most noteworthy pipe in the Unites States.”
Five miles south of Jawbone was the Pine Canyon siphon second only to the Jawbone in size.
Fred Eaton who had been City Engineer and Mayor of Los Angeles in speaking of the Jawbone section said that the section from Pine Canyon to Mojave and in fact on down to Los Angeles would be “puddin’”
The Historical Sketch of the Los Angeles Aqueduct had this to say about the tunnels in the Jawbone Division:
“A noteworthy record was made in driving the Red Rock Tunnel. This tunnel is in an indurated sand or soft sandstone, and is 10,596 feet in length. Excavation was started on May 27, 1909, and completed January 24, 1910. The maximum excavation run made from one heading was in August, 1909, when an advance of 1061 feet was made in 31 days. This is the most rapid advance of a single tunnel heading ever made in one month. The lining of the tunnel was started in February, 1910, and completed in September, 1910. This two-mile tunnel, therefore, was excavated and lined in sixteen months. The average cost of excavation per foot was $8.26 and for lining was $6.12.”
September 8, 1908: “WORK ON MAIN AQUEDUCT NOW—Work on the big main aqueduct that is to bring water from Owens River to Los Angeles was begun today at Mojave, and crews will soon be working at fifteen different headings along the route. The Los Angeles Express says “Practically all of the immense amount of preparatory work has been completed and most of the money to be expended in the future will go to the construction of actual mileage on the aqueduct.
Among the headings which will be attacked this week are nine tunnels in the jawbone canyon and one section at Fairmont.” –Bakersfield Californian
October 3, 1908: “IMMENSE QUANTITIES OF SUPPLIES ARE BEING HAULED IN FOR THE LOS ANGELES AQUEDUCT PROJECT.—(From Randsburg Miner) –Charlie Koehn, mayor of Kane Springs, is in town today and informs the Miner that the new railroad at Redrock Canyon for the purpose of hauling supplies to the aqueduct was begun today. It will be only nine miles in length and is built or the purpose of reaching that part of the aqueduct lying between 18 mile house and Indian Wells.
The regular line makes a detour and _____around by Randsburg and Garden Station in order to have a better grade. Work on the aqueduct is now assuming great proportions, and a great many men are employed, mostly miners for work on the tunnels.
Desmond, the boarding contractor, has contracted with an Arizona firm or his meat and will use a dozen beeves per day, when work goes into full swing.
Near the 18 Mile House is quite a little village already and there is at least $50,000 worth of lumber on the ground, all to be used in the construction of new buildings.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo (Researchers note: This statement shows that the 18 Mile House of the freight and stage lines and aqueduct camp Cinco are one and the same place.)
October 22, 1908: “ AQUEDUCT LABORER DEAD –James McGraw, a laborer on the aqueduct, died Friday in the municipal hospital at Cinco, and was buried Saturday in the cemetery at Mojave, the city paying the expenses. Death was caused by pneumonia. So far as known McGraw had not immediate relatives, and the aqueduct commission is anxious if he has any family they be made aware of his fate.” –Los Angeles Herald
October 28, 1908: “AQUEDUCT LABORER DIES –E. C. Schuch, a workman on the aqueduct died Monday at Cinco siding. He had been in poor health for a number of days. The body will be buried at Cinco.” –Los Angeles Herald
October 30, 19o8: DYNAMITE FOR THE AQUEDUCT – By the purchase of 235 tons of dynamite yesterday, the board of public works broke all western records or orders of explosives. The dynamite was purchased for the work in the tunnels of the Jawbone section of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the order is to be delivered in installments or during the next six months. By its contract the board also gains an option on 235 more tons to be used in the following six months at the same price—10 ¾ cents a pound.
Bids were opened yesterday and there were five bidders. Each bid the same price per pound and the board divided the contract equally between the three local bidders—the California Hardware Company, the Union Hardware Company, the Harper-Reynolds Company. The bids were all f.o.b. Giant, Cal, where the Giant Powder Company is located. With freight added the dynamite will the city a trifle more or less than $50,000.
The board has not calculated how big a hole it would make if all exploded at one spot, and as it is to be delivered in small installments there is little danger that it will wreck the mountain ranges.—Los Angeles Times.” –Bakersfield Californian
November 18, 1908: “PROGRESS ON THE AQUEDUCT—General Adna R. Chafee and D. K. Edwards of the Board of Public Works, City Engineer Homer Hamlin and Chief Engineer William Mulholland have returned from an inspection trip along the line of the Owens River aqueduct during which they went as far as Independence, says the Los Angeles Examiner.
“It was a highly, satisfactory trip throughout,” said Mr. Edwards yesterday. “We took the train to Mojave, and there were met with an automobile, in which we made the trip to Independence and return.
“Work is progressing finely on the Jawbone Canyon division. We inspected several of the tunnels and found that good progress is being made. We did not go to the cement mil. All of the steel is on the ground, I understand, but it will take some time to put it in position and we do not look or its completion before the first of the year.” –Bakersfield Californian
January 27, 1909: “CAMP BOSS KILLED BY TRAIN—Frank Duncan a section boss for the Southern Pacific on Section 6 of the California-Nevada was killed Monday morning at Cinco siding near Mojave. Duncan had been drinking quite heavily and about 2 a. m. Monday had gone to a road house at Cinco and the bartender had gotten up and sold him a bottle of whiskey. This was the last time Duncan was seen alive. When he did not show up next day, the section boss wanting some keys and watch Duncan had, began to search for him and found his mangled remains lying along the railroad track. He had evidently been struck by a passing train. His skull was crushed and one arm broken.
Coroner McGinn conducted the inquest yesterday, a verdict of accidental death being returned by the jury. Duncan was aged about 47 years and had no relatives at Mojave. He had been employed with the railroad about two months. His home was believed to be at Healdsburg. The remains were interred at a burial ground owned by the railroad along the aqueduct line.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
February 22, 1909: “MINER KILLED AT CINCO –A miner whose identity has not been ascertained was killed by a cave-in in a mine at Cinco sixteen miles out from Mojave yesterday. He was caught in a tunnel, and met instant death.
His body was recovered and Coroner McGinn was notified. That official is now at the scene of the accident and at a late hour the result was not known in Mojave.” –Bakersfield Californian
March 6, 1909: “JAMES BAGNEY, A KNIGHT OF THE ROAD, was fetched to Bakersfield for repairs by Constable Redd as a result getting into a fight with some of his boon companions. The dispute occurred at Cinco siding on the desert and grew out of a dispute over a mattress on which only one man could “snooze” at a time. Bagley is alleged to have struck one of the “boes” over the head with a beer bottle. The whole camp then turned on Bagley and walloped him. His eyes were blackened and his face was beaten and out of shape. He will be taken to the hospital. Bagley claims he was robbed of a bottle of whiskey and a jack knife.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
May 7, 1909: “DEATH AHEAD OF LODGEMEN—Martin Hickey, aged 44, a laborer sent in by the Los Angeles aqueduct people from Mojave, died yesterday at the county hospital from Bright’s disease. Not until after the man’s death was it discovered that he was a Redman, and a party of local members of the lodge, and a party of local members of the lodge, going to give him assistance at the county institution yesterday, were met with the news that they were too late, and that the patient had died.
There are a mother, a sister, and a brother living in Portland, Oregon, who have been notified of the death, and word will be awaited from them before the funeral is held.
This is apparently but one of the many cases in which the Los Angeles constructers collect hospital fees each month, only to throw their men upon the mercy of Kern County’s free institutions when they become sick.” – Bakersfield Californian
July 4, 1909: “AGAINST SALOON AT CINCO—The board of public works yesterday passed a resolution asking the supervisors of Kern County to deny the application pending before it for a saloon license at Cinco. Cinco is one the line of the aqueduct and granting this license will be a violation of the state lase forbidding saloons within four miles of public works, except in incorporated cities, which it is not.” –Los Angeles Herald
July 13, 1909: “CHAFFEE MAKES COMPLAINT –Attached to the report is a copy of a letter sent by General Chaffee to D. J. Desmond, under date of June 21, 1909, which makes fourteen complaints. Boiled down they are: The supply of salt meats so low as to excite apprehension of starvation rations in case the fresh beef supply should fail; sanitation conditions of kitchen, pantry and meat safe at San Juan Hill not good and men at this mess not tidy.
At this mess, the general found a baking of sour bread on the floor, five sacks of worthless potatoes under foot and ordered it all carted off to the pig pen. Man in charge at San Juan Hill not capable in control of employees; storeroom and bakery at Cinco disorderly, untidy, unswept.
The general appends this warning: “For some time there has been strong opposition to your mess at Cinco, and to overcome it due attention to cleanliness and service must be forthcoming from your employees.”
Complaint against open cesspool for kitchen water at Pine Tree camp and to location of meat house, which was under floor of kitchen; pink beans used too often while navy beans are preferred; ordered to use navy beans more frequently; pink beans not sufficiently cooked a camp 1A of the Saugus division.”- Los Angeles Herald
July 23, 1909: “AQUEDUCT EMPLOYE (E) BLOWN TO DEATH – Peter Shao Killed by Explosion at Cinco—Coroner Will Make a Rigid Investigation –Bakersfield, July 22.—Peter Shao, and employe(e) of the city of Los Angeles on the aqueduct, was instantly killed by an explosion of dynamite late yesterday afternoon at Cinco, twenty miles from Mojave.
This is the third death to occur in the construction work within the last year, and Coroner McGinn, who leaves for the scene today, will hold a rigid investigation to ascertain where lies the blame.” –Los Angeles Herald
October 8, 1909: “SUPERVISORS GRANT LIQUOR LICENCES TODAY –A retail license to conduct a saloon at Ricardo was granted this morning by the county supervisors to Rudolph Hagen.
A similar license was granted to Hamilton & Thompson, to conduct a saloon on the southwest quarter of Section 5, 30-37.” –Bakersfield Californian
January 4, 191o: “SUPREME COURT OF STATE KNOCKS OUT ACQUEDUCT SALOONS –San Francisco, Jan. 4—In discharging a writ of habeas corpus obtained by J. L. King of Kern County the supreme court upheld that the constitutionality of the act which prohibits the establishment of any saloon within four miles of any camp where 25 or more laborers are engaged in public works.
King was arrested or selling liquor to the laborers who are building the Los Angeles aqueduct. Today’s decision means that the numerous saloons which have been established along the right of way of the aqueduct since work commenced on the project will have to close their doors.
By means of the decision 25 or 30 saloons along the line of the Los Angeles aqueduct in Los Angeles and Kern Counties will be forced to close their doors. (Researcher’s note: Most of Inyo County had voted itself “Dry” in 1908.)
Los Angeles and Kern Counties combined in the prosecution of the anti-saloon causes, under a law enacted at the last session of the state legislators. Arrests of saloon men along the aqueduct were made and a test case was carried to the supreme court.” –Bakersfield Californian
February 14, 1910: “GUY HORTON OF MOJAVE DIES IN HOSPITAL –Guy Horton, better known at “Chucka Walter,” died at the Cinco hospital Saturday after several weeks’ illness. Horton was a bartender in H. C. Hamilton’s saloon in Mojave. The body was shipped to National City by Templeton & Co. yesterday where Horton’s relatives live, and where the burial will take place.” –Bakersfield Californian
April 1, 1910: “LABORERS FLEE FROM DANGER AT AQUEDUCT –More Evidence of Miserable Conduct of Work Brought By Fresh Batch of Men. EMPLOY CHEAP LABOR—Woodside Labor Leader, Denounces Tribute Extracted With Food and Poor Mixing of Concrete.—Persistent attempts on the part of Southern Californian newspapers to whitewash the conduct of affairs of the Los Angeles aqueduct and ridiculous efforts to conceal the true conditions, including the exodus of a continual stream of men employed and the danger from improperly handling cement, all received another setback today with the arrival of a big party of men who have been working on the aqueduct, led by J. G. Woodside. The men now are employed around town. Mr. Woodside is with the Bakersfield Iron Works.
WANTED TO HIRE HINDUS—“Greeks and other foreigners are driving Americans of the aqueduct and it is no safe place for a man to work any longer,” he said this morning. “The city of Los Angeles tried to put gangs of Hindus on the job and would have succeeded had it not been for the mess contractor, C. J. Desmond. The Hindus, for religious reasons, will not eat food not cooked by their own people. They were willing to buy supplies o Desmond and do their own cooking, but Desmond demanded $5.25 a week from each of them, as he had a right to do under his contract with the Los Angeles Board of Public Works. A lot of Hindus passed through out camp on their way to the railroad the day before I left.
HINTS AT “NEAR –GRAFT”–“Employees, you understand, too, must pay tribute to the mess contractor whether they eat or not. One of our carpenters, Flemming, who was so ill all last week that he could not go to the mess tent. He ate nothing. Yet he was obliged to pay his $5.25 just the same. I will give the camp superintendent, G. R. Stebbins, credit for trying to have the amount rebated to Flemming, but he did not succeed. Desmond is a bigger man with the board of Public Works than any camp superintendent or division engineer.
USE CHEAP LABOR – “A young Greek was employed to be Engineer of the largest concrete mixer on the job because he would work for $2.50 a day. This job is worth $4 to $5 a day to anybody but the city of Los Angeles. The Greek knowing no better, let a lot of nuts get loose, and a few days ago the big machine went into scrap iron. The crank shaft and other important parts are in pieces. This lies off a gang of men.
WALLS ARE DANGEROUS—“A German concrete foreman performs this cheap labor and hopes to stand in by saving money. The result is that a lot of so-called concrete has been dumped into the walls that have no cement in it – only rock and dirt. It is an unsafe place for any man to work, and after the next pay day there will be scarcely a white man left on the job.” –Bakersfield Californian
May 28, 1910: “AQUEDUCT WORK IS STOPPED ON DESERT –It appears all work has been stopped on the Los Angeles aqueduct except at Pine Tree and Dove Springs stations. Several families are at Cinco and a few more scattered along, but a general exodus of men of the now employed has taken place in the last week. It is said more than fifteen hundred men have let out.—Randsburg Miner.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
June 18, 1910: “BODY OF ACCIDENT VICTIM ON AQUEDUCT BROUGHT HERE—The body of Frank B. Goudey, a surveyor who was killed Thursday at the Cinco camp on the Los Angeles aqueduct was brought to this city yesterday for burial. Coroner Calvin Hartwell has issued a certificate of accidental death. Goudey was caught beneath a timber of a derrick which collapsed.
He is survived by a widow, who resides at 1924 South Figueroa Street. He was 34 years old. The body is at Bresee Bros.’ undertaking parlors. Arrangements of the funeral have not been made.” –Los Angeles Herald
November 7, 1910: “AQUEDUCT RAISES MEAL PRICE-MEN WALK OUT –Idle Workmen Fill Bakersfield and Mojave—Refuse to Accept “Gouge”—CLAIM FOOD IS INFERIOR—Officials Carry Misleading Reports to Los Angeles—Employees dissatisfied—A score of men came into the city Saturday and Sunday from camps on the Los Angeles aqueduct. They report, not a strike, but a general walk-out. Mojave is full of idle men and hundreds have gone into Los Angeles.
These men declare that camps all the way from Saugus to Independence have been almost entirely deserted. This information was verified, so far as the Mojave district is concerned by the superintendent of Chicos Bros. big general store at Mojave. He was here last week and then stated that business had been excellent at Mojave all through the autumn and would have continued so had it not been for the action of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, in authorizing D. J. Desmond, the aqueduct mess contractor, to increase the cost of the men’s board to thirty cents a meal.
RAISE PRICE OF MEALS—This makes food, generally alleged to be of inferior quality, cost the men $6.30 a week. As the mass of laborers are working for $2.00 a day, then food, with the hospital tax, amounted to more than half of their earnings. The original contract made by Desmond and the Board of Public Works was for supplying suitable foot at $5 a week. The board afterwards allowed Desmond to charge twenty-five cents a meal straight, and not the contract is alleged to have been abrogated allowing the mess contractor to charge as much as a man would pay for really good food at a restaurant like the Favorite in this city.
MISLEADING INFORMATION—Chief Engineer Mulholland returned to Los Angeles Saturday and gave interviews to the newspapers, in which he said there was not “strike” on the aqueduct, but that on the contrary the men were perfectly satisfied with conditions. Those who have arrived here state that the engineer is right as to the use of the word “strike.” The men have not struck but simply “walked out.”
Judging by the experience of last winter, they declare they cannot make expenses between now and next spring. From the Mojave arid lands northward snows and rains are frequent, and again all work is stopped by terrific gales which render it impossible for the men to handle the material with safety. Sometimes the wind attains such velocity that it is unsafe for anyone to approach the big ditch at all, and tents are blown away.
The men are in agreement that the charge of $6.30 a week for meals is a “gouge.” Hence the walkout. According to all reports brought here the work on the aqueduct is now practically at a standstill.” –Bakersfield Californian
February 23, 1911: “ABANDON POSTOFFICE –The post office at Cinco has been abandoned, says the Randsburg Miner, and Mr. Underwood, the postmaster, has taken to ranching. Cinco mail is handled by the Aqueduct authorities.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
July 5, 1911: “SUPERVISORS RENEW SALOON LICENSES –The supervisors yesterday granted liquor licenses as follows:
Davis & Hadlock at Cinco
Bakersfield Morning Echo
July 26, 1911: “MINERS REJECT PLAN TO OWN STOCK IN MINES AND SMELTERS—Butte, July 25.—The Western Federation of Miners today denounced the plan of President Moyer to own stock in the mines and smelters impractical. Moyer thought his plan would obviate the necessity of strikes.
The committee on strikes reported in favor of extending every aid to the striking workers of the Los Angeles aqueduct and to make every effort to change the city administration there at the next election. The administration is p________ to be antagonistic to labor.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
November 5, 1911: “ONLY ASHES MARK PLACES WHERE AQUEDUCT CAMPS STOOD—Settler Says Aqueduct People Wantonly Burned $150,000 lumber. –Torch Applied to Buildings When Camp is Moved; Motive For Destroying Property not Understood Here; Employees Not in Sympathy—Reliable reports from the line of the Los Angeles aqueduct indicate a remarkable policy in the disposal of buildings which have formed a part of the camps of the aqueduct workers.
When the workers finished a certain stretch of the aqueduct work they simply apply a torch to the buildings and nothing but a pile of ashes is left behind for the winds of the desert to make merry with.
That not less than $150,000 worth of lumber has been destroyed by the aqueduct authorities in this manner is the statement of a man who has lived on the desert during the progress of the work and who is in a position to know. He says that in some cases the men charged with the task of reducing the buildings to ashes have disapproved of the waste so thoroughly that they have gone to settlers nearby and suggested that they haul the buildings away.
The settlers were only too glad to do so, and the men left behind to do the burning have made their mission good by setting fire to the rubbish about the camp.
What reason actuates the aqueduct people in this wanton destruction of property is not understood here.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
March 8, 1912: “Aqueduct Health Good Say Doctors—Los Angeles, Mar. 8.—Dr. Raymond G. Taylor, chief surgeon of the aqueduct medical department appeared as a witness before the Aqueduct Investigation Board yesterday afternoon and declared that sanitary conditions along the project are in first class shape.
Dr. Taylor denied recent charges made by members of the Socialist party that improper sanitation and unwholesome food has caused considerable sickness among the 3500 employees since the project was began over six years ago.
Dr. Taylor told of the original contract, which was held by himself, Dr. Ben Smith and Dr. E. C. Moore, whereby the aqueduct laborers receiving $40 or under in wages contribute an assessment of 50 cents a month. All employees receiving over $40 a month give $1.
“We received between $3000 and & $4000 a month from this source,” said Dr. Taylor, “Out of this amount I paid six registered physicians and a large number of nurses who were working in the department.”
Dr. Edwin D. Ward, second assistant Health Commissioner, and a former aqueduct surgeon, testified before the board yesterday that the sanitary condition on the aqueduct was excellent at the time he was in charge of Cinco division. He stated that he about twenty-three miles of the aqueduct line under his supervision, including about 1000 workers. He said that he had treated quite a number of pneumonia cases at the Cinco hospital and all of the patients recovered.” –Bakersfield Californian
June 11, 1912: “WAGON WHEELS CRUSH TEAMSTER – J. T. WRIGH MEETS DEATH IN AN ACCIDENT ON THE DESERT –The aqueduct employee reported killed in Sunday morning’s ECHO was J. T. Wright, a man about 50 years of age, a native of Tennessee was hauling steel plates to the aqueduct from Cinco siding with a twenty-mule team, and instead of following the usual trail took a road at one side that led him over a sliding place on a hill. The load slipped to one side, and the swamper called out a warning and jumped. Wright, who was riding the wheel mule also jumped, but fell under the wheel of the truck which passed over his chest, killing him instantly.
Further than his name and birthplace little could be learned of the dead man. On the register that all the aqueduct employees sign the space indicating the relative of friend to be admitted in case of accident was left blank. The aqueduct authorities have undertaken to make a search for relatives in Los Angeles. Coroner McGinn held the inquest Sunday.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
July 8, 1912: “LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWALS: Dyer and Hadlock, Cinco.” Bakersfield Californian
July 30, 1912: “GREEK DIES ON MOJAVE TRAIN; “Lycro Oro, a Greek, who has been working on the aqueduct as a laborer, died yesterday on the Jawbone Canyon train while on his way to Mojave. The body was removed at Mojave and an inquest will be held today over the remains by Deputy Coroner Arch Dixon. It is through that Oro’s death was caused by appendicitis. Officer Leon of Mojave took charge of the body at Mojave. Oro was about 45 years of age.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
September 20, 1912: “CORONER CALLED FOR IN TWO LOCALITES—Word has been received by Deputy Coroner Dixon that a man had been found dead at Woodford, this side of Tehachapi, Coroner McGinn went up to the mountain station this morning and will get back late this afternoon.
Dixon also received a message from Cinco saying a man had been shot at Jawbone Canyon, the other side of Cinco. Dixon left for the scene of the shooting this morning and will probably get back some time this evening. No particulars were given in either of the cases.
Deputy Sheriff Charlie Smith went with Deputy Coroner Dixon in his car to jawbone Canyon to investigate the murder there, and also to find out the circumstances of the death of the man at Woodford. The party will stop at Woodford on the way to Jawbone. –Bakersfield Californian
September 21, 1912: “AQUEDUCT POSSE KILLS NEGRO WHO ASSAULTED CHILE –A special dispatch to The Echo, from Mojave tells of the killing of an unknown young negro by a posse of Owens River aqueduct workers in Jawbone Canyon, east of Cinco station, for an attempted assault on a six-year old girl.
The girl’s mother bore the alarm to the aqueduct camp and the men quickly responded. Led by one of their foremen, they armed themselves with revolvers and rifles and quickly gave chase.
The negro was soon caught. He was trying to hole in a patch of greasewood.
WHINED FOR MERCY—The cowering wretch whined for mercy but his identification speedily followed and his body was riddled with bullets.
It was said that more than fifty shots took effect in his body.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
September 21, 1912: “NEGRO LYNCHED IN MOJAVE DESERT—Pursuers Kill Man Said to Have Assaulted Child of Homesteader.—Bakersfield, Sept. 21.—The lynching of a negro on the desert, thirty miles east of Mojave, by men alleged to be employees on the Los Angeles aqueduct, was reported here last night.
It is said that the negro assaulted the six-year old child of a woman who is homesteading a tract of land near the aqueduct camp in Jawbone Canyon, and the men formed a posse which pursued the negro.
Surrounding him in a gulch, several miles distant from the scene of the alleged crime they riddled his body with bullets, Deputy Coroner A. M. Dixon and Deputy Sheriff Charles H. Smith left last night in an automobile to make an investigation.” –Oakland Tribune
September 21, 1912: “WM. E. KOOP KILLS UNKNOWN NEGRO ON DESERT –He and Companion Under Arrest And Now in the County Jail –CLAIM SELF DEFENSE—Negro Accused of Improper Conduct Toward Little Girl—On Thursday evening last at the Jawbone camp of the Los Angeles aqueduct, not far from the Cinco station, an unknown negro who had previously applied for work at the camp was shot to death by William Koop, an aqueduct employee. Ira Grainger, another employee, was with Koop at the time of the tragedy and both men are now confined in the county jail, having been brought here by Deputy Sheriff Charlie Smith this morning. Report has it that still another man is implicated in the killing and his arrest may follow.
Briefly, the strange negro was accused by the men of improper conduct towards a little girl, the daughter of the “Queen of the Desert,” a woman well known in that section of the country. They chased the negro out of the camp with an axe and subsequently went to Cinco and armed themselves. On returning in the following day they found the negro was back and they again ordered him to leave. They contend that the negro started toward them making motions as though to draw a weapon, when Koop fired several shots, one of them taking effect in the negro’s body, producing death.
KOOP’S STORY—According to Koop’s testimony at the Inquest, the story of the affair is as follows:
After applying for work at the camp the negro went away. That evening (Wednesday) the two employees of the camp, Koop and Grainger, decided to visit the woman known as the “Desert Queen.” On reaching her camp they found her two children lying on a bed spread on the ground at one side of the woman’s wagon. They also saw the negro hanging around. They told him to go away, which he did. One of the men and the woman went away from the camp for some reason, while the other, at the request of the woman, stayed near the camp to look after the children.
He lay down on the ground and presently heard one of the children, seven years of age, cry out, and on looking up saw the child struggling with the man. The white man told the negro in very strong language to get out of the place, and he went off again. The woman and the other man soon returned, and then the negro reappeared. The two men then told him to go away again and both started for him. One of them picked up an axe as a weapon. They chased him for a few miles from the camp, and got in a gulch near the railroad. One of the men fell, and the negro, stopping, put his hand in his pocket as though he had a revolver, and told them that he had them where he wanted them and now he was going to kill them.
WENT TO CINCO—The two men then ran up on the track and went on to Cinco. They remained there all night, as they claim that they were afraid to return to the camp that night. They obtained a gun at Cinco and the next afternoon (Thursday) they started back to the Jawbone camp.
When near the wagon of the “Desert Queen’s” they started from the train road to go over to her place to return the axe. When they had got a little ways from the woman’s camp they saw the negro.
“I thought we told you to go away,” they said.
“I’m not hurting you fellows,” said the negro.
“We will give you three minutes to get away before we shoot you.,” said one of the two men
SHOOT HIM DEAD –Whereupon the negro thrust his hands in front of his pants and started towards them as they started to count. Koop shot over his head, but he still came toward him, so Koop fired at him two or three times, one of the shots entering the man’s side killing him instantly.
THE BODY FOUND—The two men then went into camp without saying anything of what had happened. The next day the Desert Queen found the body of the negro near her wagon. She gave the alarm and told what had happened and when Deputy Sheriff Smith arrived Friday the two men were arrested.
ON THE CARPET—At the Inquest Grainger would not tell anything of what had happened, saying that he could not remember. Koop however, told the whole story clearly. This morning Grainger was brought before Deputy District Attorney Tom Scott, and then he told the story of the shooting, but in a somewhat different manner than Koop. Grainger failed to say anything about the negro’s motion to draw a gun or of his threat to kill them. He claims that they got the guns of a bartender in a saloon at Cinco and that this bartender, Walters by name, drove them back to the camp and was present when the shooting occurred. Grainger gave his gun, which he had borrowed from Walters, back to him, while Koop kept the gun which he had purchased from Walters, and took it to his tent. Koop says that someone came to his tent after a while and borrowed it.
PRELIMNARY EXAMINATION—The preliminary examination of the men will be held in Mojave Monday in the opinion of tom Scott of the District attorney’s office, the affair was simply a cold-blooded murder. When the body was examined no weapon of any kind was found. The bullet entered the side, so it seems strange the he should be shot while coming towards Koop.” –Bakersfield Californian
September 22, 1912: “NEGRO REFUSED TO HEED WARNING –Aqueduct Worker Shot Him, It Is Claimed In Self Defense.—An unknown negro, aged about 45, who was caught in the act of making an attack on a seven year old girl in Jawbone Canyon and who later attempted to assault William Koop and Ira Grainger, both employed on the aqueduct, was killed by Koop late Thursday night.
Koop and Ira Grainger warned the negro to stay away from the child’s camp. The negro returned and was advancing on Koop, when he was shot it is said.
Koop fired five times at the negro and one shot took fatal effect. It was impossible to identify the negro and his body was buried near the scene of the shooting.
The inquest resulted in a complete exoneration of Koop, but Deputy Coroner Dixon and Deputy Sheriff Smith, who were in charge of the inquest, considered it best that Koop and his companion be held until the District Attorney himself investigated the matter.
The two men were brought to the county jail in Dixon’s automobile. They tell a straight forward story, and the negro was shot only after he refused to heed a friendly warning to clear they claim.
The mother of the child, who is known as “Queen of the Valley.” Made a poor witness, contradicting herself in many ways, but it was she who appealed to the men for protection.
NEGRO APPLIED FOR JOB—The negro had a railroad check in his pocket. He had arrived over the California and Nevada line from Mojave on Wednesday. He went to the aqueduct office and applied for employment, but was refused when he could not write his name. The negro said his education was sadly neglected. Whereupon the aqueduct clerk asked him his name and then wrote it on a slip of paper, which he handed to the negro with the admonition that he could get no job until he could sign his name. The clerk did not remember his name, so the identification of the negro is lost forever.
After being unable to get a job the negro stayed around the camp for several hours, later in the day going over to where the “Queen of the Valley” was camped along the roadside in a covered wagon. Two little children, a girl of seven and a boy of five years are with her. The negro lingered around the camp and about dusk Koop and Grainger came to the woman’s camp. While there Koop discovered the negro sneaking an attack on the little girl and stopped it and drove him off.
Fifteen minutes later the negro returned to the camp, asserting he had a right to remain there. The woman appealed to Koop for help and Koop arming himself with an axe, as he had no gun at the time, in company with Grainger started the negro on the way toward Cinco. They made him keep moving and when finally refused they feared he carried a gun and were forced to let him go. They again warned him to stay away from the woman’s camp, but the negro, with an oath, replied he would “get even with you.”
WARNED HIM, THEY FIRED
Koop and Grainger went into Cinco, where they spent Thursday, and fearing the Negro would make good his threat they purchased revolvers. On their return they went to the woman’s camp, which was about 100 steps from the road and there were again accosted by the negro.
Drawing his gun, Koop warned the negro too leave immediately. The negro moved his right hand in the direction of his side, and Koop said he thought he might be carrying a pistol. At the same instant the negro stepped rapidly toward Koop, who was only a short distance off. Repeating his warning, Koop drew down on the negro, but was unable to stop him by parlaying, and Koop fired. He emptied his revolver in the negro’s direction, but only one shot took effect, passing through the right side of the breast.
Koop and his companion, after seeing the negro fall, returned to the aqueduct camp. The next morning the “Queen of the Valley” discovered the negro’s lifeless body lying in the sand.
Identification being impossible, Deputy Coroner Dixon had the body interred in the Jawbone Canyon cemetery. Kop bears a good reputation at the camp. He is known as a man of courage. His fellow workmen formed the members of the inquest and they completely exonerated Koop.
ORDER “QUEEN” TO MOVE ON—It is stated that the “Queen of the Valley” is a homesteader on the Mojave desert. She told the coroner her husband was residing on the claim near Mojave, but she has been for several days camped in the covered wagon near the aqueduct camp. Instructions were given her to take her departure from the vicinity of the camp.
IRWIN INVESTIGATING—District Attorney Irwin said yesterday he would look carefully into this affair and would himself go to Mojave tomorrow morning to conduct the preliminary hearing of Koop and Grainger before Justice Dearborn. The two men were brought into the District Attorney’s office yesterday and it was said gave an account of the shooting which complied with the Inquest testimony. District attorney Irwin was of the opinion the case should have the most rigid investigation.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
September 28, 1912: “KOOP AND GRANGER HELD TO ANSWER FOR MURDER—Two Aqueduct Men Face Trial for Killing Unknown Negro –‘Willful Murder’—Holds the Judge – Killing Followed Alleged Assault of Negro on Child of Seven years.—For killing an unknown negro on the Mojave desert near Cinco a week ago Tuesday, William Kop and Ira Granger, two Owens river aqueduct laborers were held to answer yesterday by Justice of the Peace E. M. Dearborn of Mojave, before whom the preliminary hearing was conducted Monday by Assistant District Attorney Tom Scott.
In binding the two men over to the Superior Court, Justice Dearborn said that “after careful consideration of the testimony introduced at the preliminary examination, I have concluded that a willful murder has been committed and find that there is sufficient cause to believe the defendants, Wm. Koop and Ira Granger are guilty thereof and bind them over in the Superior Court for trial.
CLAIM NEGRO MENEACED THEM—Koop is alleged to have shot the negro following his move to draw a gun, according to Koop’s own testimony, which is largely corroborated by Granger. Both are in jail.
The negro had been annoying a Mrs. Darrh, a desert homesteader known as “the queen of the valley,” according to Koop’s story, and even went so far as attempt an assault on the woman’s seven-year-old daughter. Koop and Granger claim the woman appealed to them to drive off the negro, which they did, and the next day when they came back to her camp, they were armed. The shooting followed, Koop testified, after he again warned the negro to leave the vicinity of the camp. The negro refused and advancing toward Koop, the latter said, was about to draw a gun when Koop shot him.
LEAGUE DEMANDS PROBE—The Citizens’ League of this city, and Afro-American organization, demanded a vigorous investigation of the circumstances leading up to the shooting. The members believe their countryman was foully dealt with.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
October 10, 1912: “AQUEDUCTS SLAYERS IN COURT THIS MORNING—Judge Mahon this morning will hear the applications for writ of habeas corpus of Ira Granger and William K00p, held for the murder of an unknown negro near Cinco. Judge Tams is their attorney and will endeavor to secure their freedom on bail.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
December 1, 1912: “AQUEDUCT MURDER CASE ON DECEMBER 10 –Granger and Koop To Be Tried for Killing an Unknown Negro—Ira Granger and William E. Koop, aqueduct laborers, charged with the murder of an unknown negro, near Cinco, on the Mojave desert last September, will be brought before Judge Bennett and a jury on December 10th. Granger has been at liberty on $10,000 bail and is at the home of his father in San Luis Obispo county. Koop was unable to give bond. Judge Tam is their attorney.
Self-defense will be the plea of the two men. The negro was shot by Koop. It is maintained, for an alleged attempt to assault Koop, who claimed to be guarding a woman known as “Desert Queen” from being attacked by the negro. The defendants also stated that the negro attempted to assault the little daughter of the woman, who was traveling about on the desert in a covered wagon.
The local Citizen’s League took on the cause of the unknown negro and have made direct request of the District that the case be thoroughly investigated.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
December 25, 1912: “FREE KOOP AND GRANGER OF AQUEDUCT MURDER—Evidence is Insufficient to Convict For Killing Negro.—Judge Burnett yesterday on motion of Deputy District Attorney Scott, ordered the charge of murder against Ira Granger and William Koop dismissed on the ground of insuffiency of evidence to convict. The trial of Koop a few days ago resulted in a disagreement of the jury, eleven being in favor of acquittal and one holding out for conviction. The two men were charged with shooting an unidentified negro in Jawbone Canyon following and alleged attempt of the negro to assault a little white girl. Koop claimed that he shot in self-defense. Judge Tam was Koop’s attorney.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
December 29, 1912: “THE LERDO LAND COMPANY is likewise placing 7000 acres on the market at Lerdo and Cinco on the main line of the Southern Pacific railroad.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
January 26, 1913: “INDIAN WELLS VALLEY BOOMS—Supervisor Rushing Finds that Many Settlers are Coming In.—The little hamlet of Indian Wells in the Salt Wells Valley, which but a short time ago was a desert waste, now boasts the number of 175 to 200 familes. Indian Wells and Cinco, who are located near together, both present a flourishing aspect.
Cattle raising is the chief industry, but the mining of gypsum and growing of fruit gives promise to being a factor in the country’s output. Forest Supervisor W. J. Rushing has recently returned from a trip to the valley and is very enthusiastic over the future of the place. Already one well costing $8000 has been installed and several more costing in the neighborhood of $6000 are in operation. A good deal of salt is now being taken out of the salt mines in the vicinity of Cinco. A place called Gypsite has been founded near Cinco where there is erected a gypsum plant which puts out quite a supply of plaster.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
February 4, 1913: “FUNERAL OF AQUEDUCT ACCIDENT VICTEM HELD—The funeral of Con Ward, one of the three men who were burned to death in a siphon on the aqueduct at Cinco a short time ago, was held yesterday afternoon from the chapel of Templeton & Company.
Ward and two other men were painting the inside of a huge siphon, which was to be used in the construction of the aqueduct, with a coat of tar and oil. It is supposed that one of the men dropped a light into the tar bucket which caused the explosion.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
February 8, 1913: “UNKNOWN KILLED ON AQUEDUCT, UNIDENTIFIED—The funeral of the unknown man, who was one of the three burned to death in a siphon some time ago, was held from Templeton & Company’s parlor yesterday. The body was buried by order of the Los Angeles aqueduct. Interment was in Upton cemetery.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
May 19, 1914: “ONE DOLLAR MEMBERSHIP CLUB IS INCORPORATED –The Cinco Hunter’s Club, organized by a number of Mojave people for social purposes, has filed articles of incorporation. The organizers are: T. Baldwin, Cinco; D. A. Saum, D. A. Saum, Jr., Thomas Underhill, and R. E. Dowd, all of Mojave. The club will operate billiard and pool rooms, as well as a bar and grill and card tables. The membership is to be $1. The place of business is at Cinco near Mojave.” –Bakersfield Californian
October 23, 1914: “MR. BELDEN, STOREKEEPER AT CINCO, is watchfully eyeing the many passing autos going and coming on the Mojave-Bishop trail. ” –Mojave Press
Bakersfield Morning Echo
March 26, 1915: “AUTOISTS RESCUE CHILDREN FROM FIRE—The Santa Barbara News prints the following: Two little children were saved from death, and the flames in burning house extinguished by G. C. Hackman, of Los Angeles, a Southern California Edison company engineer, according to a story told Manager R. H. Sterlng o the Santa Barbara Gas and Electric company by Mr. Heckman, who arrived here yesterday looking over electric development in this section.
The heroic rescue happened a few days ago, when Heckman and a civil engineer, E. H. Warner, were traveling through the Jawbone Canyon, in the Mojave Desert, in the Edison’s Kissel 50 motor car.
As the travelers rounded a curve in the road, they came to a settler’s shack which was blazing fiercely. No one was in sight.
The engineers hastily stopped, and unstrapped two fire extinguishers the car carried. They turned the streams on the house, which was burning from the inside.
As they did this, Heckman heard two little children crying inside, the house. He rushed in and found two little girls about four years of old, huddled in a corner. He seized the children and carried them to safety, just as the mother came rushing up. Her gratitude was pathetic.
The fire, however, was not yet out, so the engineers rushed to a water tank and used its contents for quenching the embers which were still ablaze.
Last winter Mr. Heckman was able to rescue a party 0o business men from a very serious position on the Tehachapi grade. Their car had stopped, and the party were huddled together, with the snow six inches deep around them. Mr. Hackman soon located the trouble, got the engine going, and sent the travelers on their way rejoicing.” –Oxnard Courier
May 2, 1915: “Mojave Brevities –J. E. Gugner and family and Wm. Webb, came in from Cinco to witness the ball game.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
August 13, 1917: “NEW DRAFT NAMES ISSUED BY BOARD—The following is a list of names to be called before District No. 1 on August 18, for physical examinations. The remainder of the quota of 258 men to be obtained from this district will be obtained from these men:
John Dobth, Cinco
February 6, 1918: “Alfie Saum drove in from the aqueduct station in Jawbone Canyon on business Tuesday.” Bakersfield Morning Echo
October 13, 1918: “JACK TARDY HAS BROUGHT TO the Board of Trade rooms a sample of strontium that he has found at Cinco. He says he has quite a large deposit of it and will sell it to government. The price is $3 per ton. His sample of potash from Cinco is a good one.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
February 11, 1919: “THE CINNABAR MINE NEAR CINCO has put on a force of men to work under the foremanship of Jack Tardy.” –Bakersfield Californian
March 7, 1919: “C. C. JONES a mining man from Los Angeles came up to look over Jack Hardy’s copper claims near Cinco. W. J. Gindell and S. J. Paul will be here Monday to inspect Jack’s cinnabar claims in Pine Tree Canyon.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
March 1, 1923 –Jack Tardy, a successful prospector and mine operator over at Pine Tree and Cinco, accompanied by A. E. Mitchell, mining engineer of New York City, spent Sunday looking over the Yellow Aster’s domain and in the afternoon they visited the “Big Silver” and the Coyote properties.
Frank Wyckoff of Bakersfield, owner of a valuable gold-bearing claim, lying between the Yellow Aster and the Consolidated Mines was a member of the party.
Tardy is operating and developing a gold and silver property near the mouth of Pine Tree Canyon, sinking and tunneling is now under way. Mr. Tardy has completed a number of buildings for living and mining purposes that give passengers on trains or in autos the impression that something is doing in that section of this desert.” – Bakersfield Morning Echo
January 10, 1923: “PROSPECTOR DIES ON DESERT TRAIL—Body of Miner is Found by Searching Party Near Cinco—On his way to mining claims he owned near Cinco. Frank Murphy, 64, dropped dead in the sagebrush about half a mile from his home at that place, where his body was discovered yesterday by a searching party.
Coroner N. C. House went to Cinco last night and held an inquest, after which the remains were brought to the Flickinger mortuary, where they were prepared for burial today. So far as is known Murphy has no relatives.
Coroner House learned that on last Saturday Murphy started for the hills, where mining claims owned jointly by himself and John Harrison, a storekeeper at Cinco, are located. Evidently Murphy was overcome by the exertion of climbing the hills and dropped in a patch of sagebrush, where the body was partly hidden from view.
When he did not return according to custom. Harrison started a search for him. About half a mile from the store the searchers came upon the remains, which had not been disturbed. According to Harrison, the deceased made his home at Cinco for more than a year, and spent his time prospecting in the hills.
At the coroner’s inquest it was testified that Murphy had been addicted to drinking a flavoring extract, and it is believed this may have been a contributing cause of death.” –Bakersfield College
July 16, 1924: “OIL CLAIMS SOUGHT UNDER PLACER ACT.—Recent Fillings at the county recorder’s office in Bakersfield establish the fact that there are still people in Taft, and Los Angeles who do not know that the placer law, so far as its application to oil is concerned, has been repealed by the enactment of the leasing act and are seeking title to oil claims under its provisions. The claims some of these people seek, appear to be located somewhere on the Mojave Desert, probably in the neighborhood of Cinco or Ricardo, northwest of Mojave, where someone recently advised the state mining bureau of his intention to drill a wildcat well. Others are in township 31-24.” –Bakersfield Californian
April 14, 1925: “SUPERVISORS GRANT BUSINESS PERMITS –
Miller and Koehn, merchandise, Cinco.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
May 8, 1925: “SECOND OIL TEST BY FREMONT CO.—Mojave Desert is Some of Effort to Develop New Territory—Seeking to develop oil on the Mojave Desert, the Fremont Oil Corporation of Long Beach will spud in another test well on the east slope of the Fremont Valley. The rig is up and a crew is en route to the scene of operations, according to J. G. Garth, who was in Bakersfield yesterday. Mr. Garth filed for record leases covering 1,580 acres of land in the area to be tested. Eight separate leases were filed with the recorder.
Drilling will be done with standard tools, according to the Long Beach operator. He stated that oil was encountered in well No. 1 at 1,318 feet, that the tools were lost at 1,440 feet. It is planned later to _____the tools. The test well is near Cinco, northeast of Mojave.” –Bakersfield Morning Echo
June 3, 1928: “LUKE FROST OF INYOKERN a former Mojave resident and Bill Pajanew of Cinco attended initiation ceremonies at the Eagle Lodge in Tehachapi on Tuesday evening.” –Bakersfield Californian
February 14, 1929: “MOJAVE-CINCO ROAD CONTRACT GIVEN, $92,949 –Assuring immediate improvement of the Mojave-Randsburg road in Kern County, a contract for surfacing 9.9 miles between Mojave and Cinco at a cost of $92,949, has been awarded by the highway division of the state department of public works.
The low bidder was Bartlett & Matthews of Pasadena. The contract calls for surfacing of the road with oil-treated gravel or crushed stone.
The project has been under survey and preliminary preparations for construction during the last several months, and when completed will constitute an important link in the state highway system in eastern Kern County.” –Bakersfield Californian
December 31, 1929: “STATE TO SPLIT JUICY MELON ON JANUARY AWARDS –Department of Public Works Will Give Contracts for Three Jobs in County –PROGRAM FOLLOWING PLEAS OF PRESIDENT—California Will Start 16 Grading, Paving Tasks; Cut Unemployment –Bids on three important Kern highway projects will be opened by the department of public works during January, according to announcement today by B. B. Meek, director of the department. Bids also will be opened on 13 other projects throughout the state, he said, all 16, entailing an estimated total expense of about $4,500,000.
This is the largest volume of state highway work yet offered to contractors in any one month in the history of the California state highway system.
KERN PROJECTS—The projects in Kern are as follows:
Grading and all surfacing of 15 miles on the Los Angeles-Bishop-Mono County highway extending from Cinco to seven miles north of Ricardo; bid to be opened January 2.” –Bakersfield Californian
January 6, 1930: “BIDS SUBMITTED FOR STATE ROAD IN KERN COUNTY –George Herz & Company, San Bernardino contracting firm, submitting a bid of $242, 768.80 was low bidder for the work of grading and surfacing 15 miles of Kern County highway between Cinco and Ricardo on the Mojave Desert, according to Bert B. Meek, director of the state department of public works. The contract has not yet been awarded.
Bids on two other state highway jobs, both in western Kern County will be opened this month.” – Bakersfield Californian
August 2, 1930: “PLAN FUNERAL FOR DESERT PROSPECTOR –The body of Ben Mayland, elderly Kern desert prospector, who died suddenly early yesterday at Cinco, is at Flickenger chapel pending completion of funeral arrangements.
He did suddenly while calling for aid at a Cinco service station about 2 a. m. yesterday. A coroner’s inquest was held and a verdict of natural death returned by the jury. Inasmuch as there are no known relatives, the body has been turned over to the local chapel by the coroner. The prospector made his home at Osdick.” – Bakersfield Californian