Within the rate submission was a detailed outline of the Natomas water canal along with photos of the Natomas Dam on the South Fork of the American River, the New York Ravine wooden siphon, and other pictures detailing the canals and flumes. The detailed history of the Natomas canal ownership along with a complete inventory of the structures submitted with the application for higher water rates gives a glimpse of this important gold rush era water works project.
For history buffs there is nothing closer to heaven than examining an old map. I share that fascination and also enjoy sharing old maps that I’ve found. Recently I uploaded a map published in 1910 by the American River & Natomas Water & Mining Company illustrating their network of canals. The map is generally topographically accurate and includes some place names not found on previous or later topographical maps.
A 2015 drought depleted Folsom Lake has allowed a rare opportunity to hike from the current Salmon Falls bridge over the South Fork of the American River all the way down to the old bridge which is usually covered by Folsom Lake. What makes this hike so special is that the South Fork of the American is flowing free like a river should.
These photos along with a short review of the project and photographer originally appeared in the 1964 issue of Diggin’s from the Butte County Historical Society, Voume 8, No. 1, Spring Edition. You can download the light edited submission by Chico State Professor of History Dr. Clarence F. McIntosh. I republish this material courtesy of […]
A group of Native Americans from Georgia settled in the area working the exposed auriferous gravel deposit north of Table Mountain and called the area Cherokee. By 1855 there were several small placer mining operations working the ground. By 1873 they had built the largest inverted siphon to carry water across the Feather River.
While Congress may have created a unique San Joaquin drought or dust bowl, they were also the governmental institution that used tax payer money to turn the San Joaquin valley into America’s salad bowl.