Pinyon Creek, California
The Los Angeles Aqueduct allowed the city of Los Angeles to grow and thrive, but what about the people living at the water's source in the Owens Valley of the Sierra Nevada? They saw Owens Lake vanish as their rivers dried while the big city took what it wanted. This fictional portrait of the Richardson family and their friends traces the conflict which continues to this day. More
In 1913, the City of Los Angeles opened the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a 225-mile-long engineering marvel. The Aqueduct allowed Los Angeles to grow and thrive, but what about the people at the upper end of the aqueduct? Through three generations, from 1886 to 1938, the Richardson family and their growing town of Pinyon Creek, in Owens Valley of the Eastern Sierra, encounter challenges from nature, outsiders, and the forces of history.
Spence and Molly Richardson share humor, curiosity, and kindness. They also share courage: this is a tough, unforgiving land of spiking mountains where winter devastated the Donner Party and summer killed pioneers lost traversing Death Valley.
The whole Richardson clan, and most of their neighbors, know mining and ranching. They eagerly imagine more new things to come to their beautiful valley.
But as Owens Lake dries up, farmers and ranchers begin to understand that they have been robbed. The Richardsons join Willie Chalfant, the Watterson Brothers and Father Crowley as they face Mulholland and Eaton and Lippincott of Los Angeles in the California water wars which continue to this day.