Will Rogers on Owens Valley, 1932


"Ten years ago this was a wonderful valley with one-quarter of a million acres of fruit and alfalfa. But Los Angeles had to have more water for the Chamber of Commerce to drink more toasts to its growth, more water to dilute its orange juice and more water for its geraniums to delight the tourists, while the giant cottonwoods here died. So now this is a valley of desolation."

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Twenty years earlier the white farmers and ranchers who were the descendants of the covered wagon trash that with the aid of vigilantes and the US Cavalry had run the Paiute-Shoshone people off their land in the valley killing as many of them as they could had sold that land including water rights to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power by 1913. Rogers, one of America's greatest comics, was a Cherokee rancher from Oklahoma himself and had a cowboy's eye for the shade of a large cottonwood, sure sign of abundant water..
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Los Angeles in the 1920s - Wikipedia
The city's population more than doubled in size from 577,000 to over 1.2 million between 1920 and 1929.