Breaking News! We’re excited to be making improvements to the grounds surrounding the newly-renovated Mulholland Memorial Fountain located in L.A.’s Griffith Park. See below for more information.
Explore the History of the Los Angeles Aqueduct!
The history of the diversion of the Owens River to Los Angeles has been told many times by many people. Like any history lesson, to be accurate the past must be viewed through the eyes of those that lived at the time.
The 11 families that founded Los Angeles in the late 1700’s constructed the City’s first water system, a brush dam across the Los Angeles River that diverted water to their adjacent fields. They soon recognized the area’s immense potential because of its wonderful climate and wide-open space.
By the late 1800’s the small water system had become the water department for the City of Los Angeles. However, in order to continue to grow and serve the thousands of people who began migrating to the area another source of water had to be found.
The City’s new water department had as an employee an Irish immigrant who had worked his way up from a ditch tender to superintendent, William Mulholland.
A camping trip by former Los Angeles Mayor Fred Eaton to the Sierra Nevada in 1904 would lead to the new supply. Eaton, a trained engineer, convinced Mulholland to return to the Owens Valley to see the Owens River. Construction on the Los Angeles Aqueduct began in 1908, and on November 5, 1913 the Aqueduct opened to the cheers of thousands of people at the northern edge of the City.
Click on the links below to learn more about the Legacy of the Los Angeles Aqueduct: