Ann Erdman is the Public Information Officer for the City of Pasadena, California.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011
Mystery History -- Solved!
Nobody got it exactly right, but Bellis was the first person to name one person in the photo correctly with her 7:55 a.m. Tuesday guess "Mulholland and co. planning to buy up Hahamongna to bring water to LA? (after meeting fierce resistance from the Indiana colony, they headed up to Owens Valley)" so I'm giving her this week's fabulous prize.
Left to right in the 1931 photo above are Franklin E. Weymouth, William Mulholland and W.P Whitsett, and they're actually in the desert*. These three visionaries were responsible for bringing water from northern and central areas of the state to Southern California -- an intricate, expensive and bold move. They predicted that the future growth of Southern California -- Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura counties -- would be tied directly to the capacity to import water from somewhere else.
And they were absolutely right.
Weymouth had been the chief construction engineer with the U.S. Reclamation Service (now called the Bureau of Reclamation) when he joined the team that conceived of the California Aqueduct. He was the first general manager and chief engineer of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) from 1929 to 1941.
Mulholland was a self-taught engineer who had been responsible for the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, which brought water from the Owens Valley to L.A.
Whitsett served on the board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and was MWD's first chairman of the board from 1930 to 1947.
Today the California Aqueduct, managed by the California Department of Water Resources, is a series of canals, tunnels and pipelines that transport water from Northern and Central California to Southern California.
What's the significance of this week's Mystery History?
There will be a 7:30 p.m. public hearing at the Pasadena City Council meeting this coming Monday to declare a Level 4 water shortage emergency. The agenda will be posted here by tonight and you'll be able to attend the meeting in person or watch it live on KPAS (channel 3 on Charter in Pasadena and 99 on U-Verse) or via streaming video here (click on the KPAS logo)
We're all in this together!
*First time ever a Mystery History photo was not shot in Pasadena, but this was for a good cause.