Gallery: Images of Water in California

Planning is currently underway for California Archives Month 2017.

The theme of California Archives Month 2016 was, “Water and History.” Considering how water shaped the history and development of California, many archives, libraries, historical societies, museums and other repositories from around the state contributed images to this gallery below.

(The images displayed on this website may be protected under U.S. copyright law and are the property of the respective institutions that contributed them and/or the creators of the images. If you are interested in obtaining a reproduction of any of  these images, displaying any of these images on another website, or otherwise publishing any of these images, then please contact the contributing institution for more information about permission to use the images. The contributing institutions are credited below each image.)

Stone Dam with flume in background. original photograph circa 1872.

Stone Dam with flume in background, San Mateo County (circa 1872), ID number D-473, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Crystal Springs Dam construction. # 151 marked on right-hand side of copy print (not in scan).

Crystal Springs Dam construction (circa 1887), ID number CSC-006, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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Pacific Congress Springs near Saratoga (1890), Clyde Arbuckle Photograph Collection, California Room, San Jose Public Library.

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Guadalupe River flood near Notre Dame College (1890), Clyde Arbuckle Photograph Collection, California Room, San Jose Public Library.

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New River and damaged railroad bed, Los Angeles (circa 1890), H.B. Wesner’s Views of Southern California Scenery Series, California Historical Society.

ID number D5-W5, Main Photo Collection, Archives, Pasadena Museum of History.

Pasadena’s Superintendent of Streets, Charles C. Brown, at Villa Street Reservoir, Pasadena Water Dept. (circa 1900), Photograph by Hill, ID number D5-W5, Main Photo Collection, Archives, Pasadena Museum of History.

View showing Steamboat "Cochan" on the Colorado near Yuma, Arizona (1900), Identifier 295295, L.C. Easilon photograph, General Administrative Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

View showing Steamboat “Cochan” on the Colorado near Yuma, Arizona (1900), Identifier 295295, L.C. Easilon photograph, General Administrative Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

Crossing Arroyo Seco

Crossing Arroyo Seco (1900), ID number A7-72, Main Photo Collection, Archives, Pasadena Museum of History.

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Building a roof over the first reservoir. Whittier has always maintained a pure supply of water. (1902), WNTSB-023E, White-Bailey Collection, Whittier Public Library History Room.

After the Earthquake and Fire. 44" Crystal Springs Pipeline. Trestle damaged at Guadeloupe Valley. View north.

Repairing trestle damage on the 44″ Crystal Springs Pipeline at Guadeloupe Valley after the Earthquake (May 15, 1906), ID number Y-24, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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Lower Crystal Springs Dam, no damage done by the Earthquake (May 17, 1906), ID number Y-59, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

After the Earthquake and Fire, City Pipe System- Raised 16" main on south side, Market Street, opposite Spear Street, view west.

After the Earthquake and Fire, City Pipe System, raised 16″ main on south side, Market Street, opposite Spear Street, view west, (September 6, 1907), ID number H-589, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

David Boule'

Stereopticon image showing irrigation of a California orange grove, bringing formerly arid acres into orange production (circa 1909), David Boule’ California Orange Collection.

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Stereopticon card showing irrigation of an orange grove, Riverside (1909), Underwood & Underwood photograph, David Boule’ California Orange Collection.

Fullerton kids in an irrigation ditch (circa 1910),

Fullerton kids in an irrigation ditch (circa 1910), accession number 2008-17, Orange County Archives.

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Flood of Canoas Creek in San Jose (1911), Clyde Arbuckle Photograph Collection, California Room, San Jose Public Library.

Hawthorne

Looking N.E. at Hawthorne Electric and Water Co. Pumping Plant (March 16, 1912), F3725:1454, Public Utilities Commission Records, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

Calaveras Dam. Grading dam for flume. First work at dam site, all trees were taken.

First work at the site of Calaveras Dam, Santa Clara County (July 3, 1913), ID number C-311, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Approach to tunnel number 4, Cuyamaca Water Co.

Approach to tunnel number 4, Cuyamaca Water Co. (circa 1915), F3725:1612(7), Public Utilities Commission Records, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

California State Library

Tehama County’s first flowing well at Gerber drilled by Price & Adams (circa 1915), accession number 2016-0062, California History Room, California State Library.

In Escondido Ravine, Cleveland National Forest, Laguna Mountain area (1916), Identifier 16544587, Scrapbook, Cleveland National Forest, Office of the Supervisor, Records of the Forest Service (RG 95), National Archives at Riverside.

In Escondido Ravine, Cleveland National Forest, Laguna Mountain area (1916), Identifier 16544587, Scrapbook, Cleveland National Forest, Office of the Supervisor, Records of the Forest Service (RG 95), National Archives at Riverside.

A Pacific Electric car marooned by washouts on the Los Angeles-Santa Ana Line (1916), Identifier 295279, Project Administration Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

A Pacific Electric car marooned by washouts on the Los Angeles-Santa Ana Line (1916), Identifier 295279, Project Administration Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

Garden Grove flood (1916), Orange County Archives

Garden Grove flooded (1916), Orange County Archives.

Orange County Archives

Evacuating the Mexican Quarter, 4th & Artesia, Santa Ana (1916), accession number 2009-23, Orange County Archives.

Board of Public Works, Hetch Hetchy, Pedro Adit, Mixer and gun in 10'3" circular reinforced tunnel.

Mixer and gun in 10’3″ circular reinforced tunnel at Pedro Adit (March 21, 1919), ID number A1704, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

California State Library

Half Dome and Merced River (circa 1920), accession number 1998-0156, California History Room, California State Library.

Application No. 6975, Natomas Water Co., Public Utilities Commission Records, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

Hess Flume, Application No. 6975, Natomas Water Co. (1922), Public Utilities Commission Records, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

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“First Meal,” William Mulholland in vest and white shirt, H.A. Van Norman crouched with back to camera, with other Los Angeles Water Bureau engineers at the Colorado River, opposite Fortification Hill (October 29, 1923), negative code C-1, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Board of Public Works, Hetch Hetchy, Bay Crossing Pipeline, Caulking field joint.

Caulking a pipe joint, Bay Crossing Pipeline (December 27, 1923), ID number 9075, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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View looking toward Salton Sea from Mecca Triangulation Signal (circa 1924), hand-colored glass slide, negative code C-88, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

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Model-T-engine-powered riverboats for Los Angeles City, Colorado River Aqueduct surveys, Picacho, CA at the Colorado River (1925), Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Board of Public Works, Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct, Laying 42" submarine pipeline across Newark Slough.

Laying 42″ submarine pipeline across Newark Slough (February, 14 1925), ID number 9592, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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Pulgas Outfall (October 19, 1925), ID number 10012, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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Penstock air valves for Moccasin Powerhouse (September 12, 1925), ID number 9954, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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O’Shaughnessy Dam (May 16, 1926), ID number 10359, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Board of Public Works, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Looking east, Rancheria Mountain in center.

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Looking east, Rancheria Mountain in center (May 16, 1926), ID number 10361, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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Los Angeles City Survey Team searching for a Colorado River Aqueduct Route (circa 1927), Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Board of Public Works, Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct, Pedro Camp.

Surveyors at Pedro Camp during construction of the Hetch Hetchy Water Supply System (February 12, 1927), ID number A-61, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Santiago Creek flooding the Orlo Moncrief House and Southern Pacific Trestle, Santa Ana (February 1927), Orange County Archives.

Santiago Creek flooding the Orlo Moncrief House and Southern Pacific Trestle, Santa Ana (February 1927), Orange County Archives.

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Frank T. Crowe, General Superintendent, Six Companies Inc., and Donald J. Kinsey, Director, Dept. Public Information, Metropolitan Water District, in Black Canyon, near Hoover Dam on the Colorado River (May 3, 1931), Negative Code B-198, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

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1931 Colorado River Aqueduct bond sales billboard, Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue, Los Angeles (September 10, 1931), Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

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Placing concrete invert at Irvington Portal near Mission San Jose (November 13, 1931), ID number A-3224, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Hetch Hetchy Water System. Bond Issue. Slogan: Five more miles to go. 1 of 2 negatives.

Hetch Hetchy Water System bond issue (March 1, 1932), ID number D-2234, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

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Hand-tinted, colorized photograph, “Night at Hoover Dam,” Colorado River, by J. Frederick Romig (June 9, 1932), John and Judith Burgess donation, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

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Coast Range Tunnel workers outside Mitchell Shaft (January 4, 1934), ID number A-3914, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Completion celebration at Pulgas Water Temple.

Completion celebration at Pulgas Water Temple, San Mateo County (October 28, 1934), ID number A-4278, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Crowd poses by automobile fallen over the edge of a washed out road in Burbank (1938 flood), Identifier 295295, General Administrative Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

Crowd poses by automobile fallen over the edge of a washed out road in Burbank (1938 flood), Identifier 295295, General Administrative Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

View of Foothill Blvd., just east of Mills Ave., Claremont app 0.6 miles west of mile 17.1 on San Antonio-Chino Creek (1938), Project Administration Files, General Administrative Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

View of Foothill Blvd., just east of Mills Ave., Claremont app 0.6 miles west of mile 17.1 on San Antonio-Chino Creek (1938), Project Administration Files, General Administrative Files, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers (RG 77), National Archives at Riverside.

Shasta Dam

Shasta Lake, Shasta Dam, and Shasta Mountain (circa 1941), Eastman’s Studio, accession number 2001-0077, California History Room, California State Library.

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F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant Head House, hand-colored glass slide (1944), Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

H.L. Dady, Santa Ana (June 1947), Orange County Archives.

H.L. Dady, Santa Ana (June 1947), Orange County Archives.

Hyperion Construction/Excavation. Initial discharge north of Ballona Creek jetties showing heavy surf in background. Crew installing discharge spoon on main branch line at right - November 24, 1947

Hyperion Treatment Plant outfall pipe discharging partially treated wastewater into Santa Monica Bay, crews installing secondary pipe at right, oil derricks in background (November 24, 1947), Bureau of Sanitation Archives, City of Los Angeles.

Coachella Canal paving operations near Station 6176 (1947), ID number 2292770, Project History, All-American Canal, Coachella Division, All-American Canal Project Histories, Office of the Regional Solicitor, Los Angeles, Records of the Secretary of the Interior (RG 48), National Archives at Riverside.

Coachella Canal paving operations near Station 6176 (1947), Identifier 2292770, Project History, All-American Canal, Coachella Division, All-American Canal Project Histories, Office of the Regional Solicitor, Los Angeles, Records of the Secretary of the Interior (RG 48), National Archives at Riverside.

Coachella Canal was completed in 1948 (1948). Identifier 2292770, Project History, All-American Canal, Coachella Division, Vol. 3, 1948, All-American Canal Project Histories, Office of the Regional Solicitor, Los Angeles, Records of the Secretary of the Interior (RG 48), National Archives at Riverside.

Coachella Canal was completed in 1948 (1948). Identifier 2292770, Project History, All-American Canal, Coachella Division, Vol. 3, 1948, All-American Canal Project Histories, Office of the Regional Solicitor, Los Angeles, Records of the Secretary of the Interior (RG 48), National Archives at Riverside.

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“What’s Back of the Faucet?” (1950), San Jose Water Company pamphlet (front cover), Clyde Arbuckle Ephemera Collection, California Room, San Jose Public Library.

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Friant-Kern Canal (1951), F3640:18216(5), Earl Warren Papers, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

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Folsom Dam (circa 1954), accession number 2011-1847, California History Room, California State Library.

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San Francisco Water Dept. diver preparing to clean the 44″ pipe and brickwork in dam between North and South Lake Merced (July 26, 1960), ID number X-5828, Engineering Archives, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

State Water Project Pamphlet, General Ephemera Collection, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

State Water Project pamphlet (circa 1963), General Ephemera Collection, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

Santa Monica Pier battered by storm (January 27, 1983), Paul Silhavy photo, Image Archives, Santa Monica Public Library.

Santa Monica Pier battered by storm (January 27, 1983), Paul Silhavy photo, Image Archives, Santa Monica Public Library.

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Rex Brandt Water Color Painting, “Reaching for Water,” (April, 16, 1995), based on an earlier lost painting of Parker Dam, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Citrus irrigation

Citrus irrigation furrows (undated), David Boule’ California Orange Collection.

San Bernardino city well

San Bernardino City Well postcard (undated), David Boule’ California Orange Collection.

aqueduct

Wooden aqueduct snaking down into a valley with orange orchards, “Irrigating from the great mountain reservoirs by means of which vast orange groves have supplanted the sage-brush” (undated), David Boule’ California Orange Collection.

Water gushing in field

Gushing water in an agricultural field (undated), Field Studios (Riverside) photograph, Joan and Allen H. Simon Collection.

California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

Installation of Stony Creek Movable Dam (undated), F3725:792, Public Utilities Commission Records, California State Archives, Office of Secretary of State.

Big Blast Amador County Archives

Big blast at Salt Springs Dam site of 57 tons of dynamite, near Jackson, Calif. (undated), Amador County Archives.

Pasadena's initial water supply came from the Devil's Gate area named for the profile of crags seen on the right (undated), Photograph by Hill, ID number D1A

Pasadena’s initial water supply came from the Devil’s Gate area named for the profile of crags seen on the right (undated), Photograph by Hill, ID number D1A-27, Main Photo Collection, Archives, Pasadena Museum of History.

Silver Spray Falls, Arroyo Seco (undated), Photograph by E.S. Frost & Sons, ID number A7-80

Silver Spray Falls, Arroyo Seco (undated), Photograph by E.S. Frost & Sons, ID number A7-80, Main Photo Collection, Archives, Pasadena Museum of History.