Covina Argus from Covina, California on December 26, 1908 · Page 16
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Covina Argus from Covina, California · Page 16

Covina, California
Issue Date:
Saturday, December 26, 1908
Page 16
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GO THOU AND DO W IJJS^WALNUT CENTER Five Thousand Acres of Unirrigated Grain Land Transformed Into Groves of Walnuts and Waving Alfalfa in Three Years. The Co-operative Water* System. U rook s and streams are running many an Eastern sawmill with a oapae- ity of watorflow at the holghth of the season that Is an Insignificant trickle compared wlt.h tho rivers raised to tho surface through man's genius in Southern California -pumped water that, will flood a plain, keep It. flooded indefinitely; pouring out tnlllloriH of gallons each day. If. IK difficult to explain to those who have never soon, t.hal there are pumping plarit.H that discharge a stream larger than a rnan'H body, with a velocity thai. makes if. HO ror:k-hurd at, the mouth of the pipe t.hal bullets froni a Winchester rifle will not penetrate It. Water that has percolated through miles of diamond- clear gravel In subterranean nti-nt.ii, horn of the rncll.lng HHOW of the mountains, Is life-giving In Its pnrll.y, full of the vig-or which only aerated water can excite, cool, but not. Imparting an icy chill. Giant Pumps, and Engines Illustrations showing (he; water-flow- ago from the La Puoril.o Co-operative Water company on these pages boar out (lie testimony of the written word. The water pouring from the pipes in brought to (.ho surface through artificial moans. Tho Immense (low |of !H almost Incredible. It makes a stream which, If gathered together in one bed, would equal that of many rivers bosirlng well-known mimes. The f,a Ptioiilc Co-operative Water company was organized In November of 1 !)().">, for the purpose of Irrigating 2000 acres lying southwest of (lio city of f'ovina about four miles, and twenty- three rnlleH from the city of Los Angeles, on the Pacific iOloolrio railroad running to Covlna. One share of the stock was Issued for each acre, at a par value of $50, Hie rate for which those shares have always sold. No person could buy water stock without first having the land In Mils territory watered by the company, or In the language of tho hy-lawfi of the co-opora- tlon, each Hhare )H made appurtenant to the land. Thin precludes the possl- olllty of out.Hldo speculation. Two compound Watertown steam onglnos, each of 212 horse power, were installed, to he run In tandem or one at a time, and six Hlxtoon-lnch wells, each three hundred feet In depth, sunk. These wolls arc divided into two batteries, and connected with each other by tunnels. In each of tho ball cries a No. 10 Byron & .lackson centrifugal pump with polished In-own runner, was placed, and with tills mighty hoisting power, the business of raising water (o the .surface commenced. Water had boon found In great quantities at various depths in the vicinity of tho company's location, l)iu nol. until the giant machinery was set in motion, was It known that the wells sunk by the company were set In an Immense subterranean lake, •which flows back from I he hanks of (.ho Sari Gabriel river, making an absolutely inexhaustible supply. Situated within two miles of (lie surface-bod of the Ban (inhrlcl river and about four miles in a direct line from (ho base of the Sierra Madro mountains, tho company was fortunate; enough to discover that the entire two thousand acres under this Irrigation system lay above this splendid gravel strata, where millions upon millions of gallons of water (lowed underground to the sea. During the (lino since the installment of these pumps there hat 1 never been a single moment when the water In (ho wells lowered appreciably. The fliHl hour of pumping lowers the water live feet, when II finds Us level, and pumping may go on indefinitely. The discharge from the two twcnty- Incli steal pipes IH at the rale of Till! California minor's Inches per minute. These figures are the result, of a twenty-four hour test of continuous pumping rriatlr: recently. ,/. 9. Alexander, (he company engineer, has been with tho co-operation since Its adoption, and lives near tho plant, In a house erected for him by the stockholders. Water Distribution The twenty-Inch main leads east and west, along the north Uric of the 2000 acres. The gravity lines are of vitrified tile, twelve and fourteen inches In diameter, while the pressure lines are twelve-Inch stool. The highest point to which water is raised Is fifty-six font. During the year jiml closed tho company has sold $9,.'iO.'!.57 worth of water to Its shareholders, which wan the actual pro-rat a cost of pumping and delivering. No assessments have over boon levied since the Incorporation. The water In this section Is warmer than It. has been found to be In other localities, and can be applied Immediately to vegetation without danger of chilling. The water comes at. the rate of 400 gallons to tho minute from each of two twenty-Inch steel discharge pipes, and the piping through which It flows Is all underground. The Illustrations of flowing water from this plant used In this ar- tlclo were lakon through opening one of the big staridpipcs and by allowing the water to flow direct from the discharge pipes, onto tho surface of the ground, which was done for Illustration only. Walnuts Thrive Here. All the land under tills Irrigation system Is planted to walnut trees, which arc; now throe years old and In splendid condition. The land sells at from $225 to $250 per acre. The company has Issued 1,15!) shares, which means that. 1,15!) acres cut. .of tho 2,000 are under a state of Intense cultivation. Tho remaining acres are for sale, with abundance of water to be hart for everyone. The soli In this tract, is from twenty feet to seventy- five feet In depth, composed of the silt and wash of humus from the mountains through ages of wear and corrosion. Walnuts thrive wonderfully well in tiila soil, as it. Is light to work, yet strong fn vegetable matter. The walnut tree comes to bearing age In about eight years. While the walnuts are growing the ranchers employ an Intermediate crop of alfalfa, potatoes, corn, pcunul.s, or In fact anything which can be grown in the state, but preferably alfalfa, corn or potatoes. Trie walnut tree Is just, exactly the opposite of (lie orange tree, as the older II becomes I ho less Irrigation it needs. The ranchers who have taken up these holdings have for the most part paid one-quarter of (lie price down and the remainder In three years of time, the balance running at seven per cent. Interest. Nearly every randier In this community has already paid for his ranch through the raising of Inlerniediaie crops, and now has his fine walnut ranch free of Incumbranco. The officers and directors of the Ui Puente Co-operative Water company are; Arthur Yarnell, president, and owner of 100 acres; S. L. Watts, vice president, owner of fifty acres; W. S. Sawyer, secretary and treasurer, owner of 10(1 acres; F. P. Haldossor and F. W. Wit- lonbrook, Tho .stockholders of the company, with the number of acres ami shares owned by each, are as follows: Frank Reynolds, fit); II. A. Moore, 7(1; M. I.. drowsier, III; Jacob Tonl, 10; \V. I/, mid (,'. I.. Warren, 70; ,1. II. ('. Von der l.olie, :>. r >; I). Von dor l.obe, l!li; Fred [Von dor Ix)he, 35; V. W. Witt.onbrook, 120; Mrs. H. H. Hamlln, 20; Warren I Rerryrnan, 10; Sawyer & Rood, 100; • K. Hoh wart 7.0, '.',<); Arthur Yarnoll, 100; W. A. Ingalls, It); F. A. Poole, 20; Haldossor & Menslng, 20; Watt Tyler, H; A. W. Knox, r>; J. H. Toner, 10; C. A. Mead, 10; W. S. Herring, 24; T. D. Benjamin, 20; L. D. Tiff, :;o^ H. J. McCluro and N. 15. Shaeff, 2!!; ! K. Maehida, 30; Jennie H. Warren and IF. Swallow, 18; S. A. Curl, 10; C. K. 'Groat, 20; H. A. TJnnih), 20; Irene iNason, 20; Klla P. Huhhard, 20; Fred I Mobus, 11 ; 15. F. Mull, 5; W. K. Church, 120; D. Glaokloy, 15; Wade, 10; A. Roberts, ,SO; R. Williams, 10; Harriet I. AI. Lovott. 20; H. I,. Watts, 50; James Wilson, 10; C. T. (Jrlggs, 20; Amanda Wead, !). One only has to raise tho eyes to tho scarred slopes of the Sierra Madre mountains, to understand the fortuity of tho soil in the valley below. Thousands of centuries before man turned his attention to the San Gabriel valley, the water-shod, towering above (Home of F. J. Stimson.) This, then, is the reason for the fertility of the soil. This is one reason why the communities known as Walnut Center and Basset t, lying nearly five miles from the base of tho Sierra Madre, havosuch desirable land for cultivation. (I was not thought such, however, until lately, within tho last throe years. Throe years ago It was all slubblo field, growing nothing but grain anrl barley hay, and in tho late summer months, lay parched as a desert, brown and uninviting—having an aspect which Boomed to say, "Go away and let mo alone, f am worn out." Tho plains had not been awakened. , Nothing'had ever been done except'to scratch tho top with a surface plow and put in the grain without much care, I nulling to the rains of the winter season to start the germ. became .settled in a straggling manner. Then the walnut groves began to bo sot out, until now there are five thousand acres in the community known as Walnut Center, ail in walnuts In a thrifty condition, which will bear in a few years. Hut it is of the intermediate crops that, wo would speak. While the walnut, orchard, with Its undoubted profitable future, is growing to maturity, it is necessary for the ranches to raise crops that, will help meet the expense. That is where the alfalfa stepped in and rendered assistance. Kvcryone went to raising alfalfa and potatoes in Walnut Center. These two crops not only kept up the running expenses of the farms, but began to pay off some of the principle on the balances due on the ranches. Now ranchers for from $175 to $250 per acre without improvement. Today the improved lands cannot be bought for $400, a growth in price in three years. The plains seem almost limitless about this garden oasis, and as a fact, there are thirty thousand acres still raising grain and hay, and waiting for the settler to take up his land and do as tho men in Walnut Center and Bassett have done—become wealthy and independent owners of fine homes. All these lands spoken of are the property of E. J. (Lucky) Baldwin, known as the "Lucky" Baldwin rancho; between La Puente and Covlna. Its' history is interesting when traced from the time of the original Spanish' grants, but does not particularly concern this article. The purpose of this LIKE AN OLD ENGLISH ETCHING OF A MILL-STREAM. One-half of the flow from the 212 H. P. engine* of the La Pu ente Co-operative Water Company. tho plain was emptying its tons of silt through Hie storm waters Into the plains, until this land of the level valley Is In some places hundreds of feel deep In pure humus, vegetable deposit, and anywhere within five miles of tho foothills (ho soil Is found to bo from thirty to fifty foot deep at the least calculation. All this .soil Is fertile as nothing else In the world is fort lie, for it is the richest that the mountain slopes could give. The Awakening. Rut there was a tremendous force there, lying dormant. One man went into the locality and took up a few acres of land. Ho believed that water could he raised to (he surface by pumping. He put in a small pump and started Irrigating the land. With the touch of water the land leaped Into vegetation. People came to see, and stayed to live in the vicinity. It 'OLD FAITHFUL." Stream of 796 Cal. miner's inches per minute night and <iay ; f so desired. La Puente Co-operative Water Company plant. the remarkable thing about the country known as Walnut Center Is the fact that men are out of debt, many of them, who came In and took chances on being able to pay for the ranches within ten years. How It Was Done. Along the San Gabriel river the land Is lighter than it is back near the foothills or to the east or west of the river bed. There is an admixture of sand in the humus and no suspicion of alkali. When the ranchers started pumping it was found that an immense subterranean lake flowed hack from the river at a depth below the ground of from fifty to 150 feet, all living water, finding its way through the gravel strata to the sea, but banking up temporarily against tho arm of the foot hills on the south. Hero was a natural reservoir such as could not have been made- by man for millions of dollars. Old ranchers say that in tho dryosl portion of the year they have seen their wells lower three feet, but never has there been a lime in the history of the country when the water was not more than abundant, hundreds of times as much water as was necessary for irrigation, even for alfalfa, which sucks up water like a sponge. So the land Is all a vivid green the war around, where it formerly was parched and brown, the greater portion of It. Tills Is the history of Wai- 1 nut Center down to date. Alfalfa ami j potatoes have been mentioned as the! principal crops, but a perusal of this j story will point out the fact that everything that can bo raised in Cali-' fornia. can be raised in ibis locality with profit. WluMi the walnuts are live years old they will begin to boar quite heavily. When thoy are eight; years old they wiii be pro fit-boa ring. Walnuts are quoted this year at twelve and one-half cents per pound. On Ihe : two hundred acre Bassett ranch, the oldest in tin- district west of Walnut. Center, there will lie seventy-five tons of nuts this y<-ar. of the finest quality. All around this land now planted to \v a lira's i:- the same plain land thai \V:ilmu ('enter once was. [i has not Vet lieell de\ejoped. thotltrh the M.cle! is there, as ii is e\ei > where in the valley. Tins land. P.Ke the Walnut rente* ami Hasten laiiii. sold to tin- article Is to attract homeseekers to this splendid valley. Nothing but the truth has been employed In all the numerous articles written about this particular spot, for It is unnecessary to make over-statements In the face of the actual results which have come from this land. Page after page might be written about it, but the writer has gathered terse facts from the ranchers themselves, and in their testimony will be found the most convincing truths of this garden spot of the San Gabriel valley. Among the First Robert K. Dancer can be said to be the earliest arrival in the district known as Walnut Center proper. His ranch of thirty-four acres lies in the direct heart of the district, and "lie- sides being one of tho most valuable tracts of land, is also made more valuable because of tho fact that it will be around his ranch that the future town will grow up. Dancer was particularly fortunate in setting his orchard of walnuts, for Mie soil, according to everyone in that locality, is said to be a little better than any of the rich ground about him. He has succeeded in growing better and larger crops of alfalfa than others because of the fine soil (jualily, and his bit; pumping plant is in the direct center of the immense subterranean stream which flows in from the San Gabriel river and lies within a few feet of the surface. Pump Is a Geyser. His pump is a Byron-Jackson, and is driven by a Western pas engine. pumping 190 inches to the minute, the largest flow of water from a private pumping plant in the San Gabriel valley. With this stream lie water* over 150 acres in the vicinity, selling water to his. neighbors. The soil has a sliuh' disposition to bo sandy and not heasy which makes it the ideal Uiiul tor walnuts and alfalfa. lie.-iiies these crops he grows yellow corn ain! oat hay. ami has been an extensive laiser of pota'oes. which In- says ale soine years as profitable as alfalfa His walnut orchard will be four yens old in l-Vbniary. and the trees are larger now than many six-year old uichanis

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