San Antonio Canyon Photographs

If you have been keeping track of our social media accounts, you may have noticed that we have recently started posting photographs from around 1911-1915. Last week Tanya and I went through an album of incredibly interesting photographs of the San Antonio Canyon and the Pomona Valley. The San Antonio Canyon is responsible for carrying water down to the Pomona Valley from the San Gabriel Mountains. Claremont and this surrounding area is part of the Pomona Valley. However, sometimes the Pomona Valley floods when lots of water runs down the mountains and through the San Antonio Canyon. Flooding can cause damage to homes, infrastructure such as roads, and agricultural lands. This was a huge problem in the early 20th century for local residents who primarily relied on agriculture for their livelihood.

Flood control was an important issue for people during this time and a variety of things were done to protect this fertile alluvial plain. These measures were documented and now they are part of the Willis S. Jones Papers at The Claremont Colleges Library. There are photos of streams, ditches, rock dams, cement dams, and even of the damages sustained in certain floods. This album specifically highlights the Osgoodby Dam in the San Antonio Canyon and a series of floods in 1914 that caused major damages in the Pomona Valley. I have taken photographs of particularly interesting parts of this album and over the next several weeks I will be sharing them on our social media accounts, which are listed below. Join in the conversation with #CLIRWater!

Twitter: @honnoldlibrary

Instagram: @honnoldlibrary

Facebook: CLIRWater

San Antonio Flood 1.jpg

Dwinelle Letters

In the first part of 1884 William Chaffey sent letters to C. H. Dwinelle about what it would take to set up a farm in Ontario, California. In the first letter I came across, Chaffey describes the different kinds of fruit tree available along with the prices of each type of tree. Chaffey also explains that the trees for Ontario farms come from Los Angeles nurseries which in turn get their trees from the north. The next letter, dated a couple days later was about which lots in Ontario Dwinelle was interested in buying. Apparently Dwinelle was interested in purchasing three plots of land, but the ones he was most interested had already been purchased. In the latest letter I found,  William Chaffey describes the kind of work his workers can do to set up and care for Dwinelle's land. Chaffey lists the approximate price for the materials and the labor. I found this series of letters interesting because I was able to see a little bit of the progression for someone interested in purchasing land from the Chaffey brothers during this time period.

Ontario Property Prices

Last week I came across a letter that referenced the price of land in Ontario in 1884. I've seen references to property prices before but this was the first time I thought about what those prices really mean. In 1884 prime property sold for $200 per acre and the rest sold for $150 per acre. I got online and did some research about what $200 in 1884 would translate to money today. Apparently $200 from 1884 converts to about $5,000 in 2018, an immense difference!

However, I went one step further. After all, the value of land is related to more than just a simple calculation of inflation over time. In 1884 Ontario, California was in its infancy, whereas today Ontario is part of the greater Los Angeles urban area. I've already spoken about the population growth in Ontario from its initial 200 residents to 170,000 people. The population increase is just one symptom of people wanting to reside in Southern California. Rent and property prices are another symptom, as more people need housing, property prices increase.

So I returned to the internet for more answers. How much does an acre of undeveloped land cost in Ontario today? Any guesses from the audience? Drum roll... $500,000! For one acre of land. That's 100 times the price (taking inflation into account) of land in 1884. 

Final Blog Entry

PP Slide One.jpg

Hello Everyone, 

Today is my last blog entry and the day of my culminating CCEPS presentation. My presentation was an introduction to the Woman's Club of Claremont, showcasing some of the interesting items in the collection, and a summary of my experience processing the collection. I have managed to get the original 27 boxes processed into 19 organized boxes of folders that will hopefully enable future researchers to easily access any materials they may be looking for in the collection. I have a great sense of accomplishment, and my experience with the CCEPS fellowship taught me many valuable skills I can take with me into the future, but it also allowed me the opportunity to informally meet the wonderful ladies of the Woman's Club of Claremont. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Last Blog Post

Hello All!

This is my last week as a fellow. This week I learned how to convert files to PDF-A1b and meta-data. Both tasks are relatively tedious, but very important to the archival process. As I reflect on my time as a fellow I am glad that I was able to work here for the semester. I learned a lot about working in special collections, learned some skills, and read several letters from Charles Frankish.

Thanks for a great semester!

Metadata, metadata, and summer!

Hi everyone!

This week I continued my work on metadata! Unfortunately, this will be my last day at CCEPS for the Spring 2018 semester! But, I will be coming back in June to continue my work with the Frankish Letters and I hope to continue discovering new and exciting information during my time here in the library!

See you later,

Angel Ornelas

Wells Fargo & Company

This week I ran across a letter addressed to Wells Fargo & Company. It was interesting to see the name of a company that still exists today. I was inspired to do a little bit of research to find out more about the history of the company. The first thing I learned was that the company was named after its two founders, Henry Wells and William Fargo. I had never thought about how Wells Fargo & Company got its name, but I guess it makes sense that it would have been named after people.

I also did a little research about the founders of Wells Fargo & Company after finding this letter. Henry Wells first became successful after he started an express postal company that would carry mail at a lower rate than the United States Post Office. William Fargo started carrying mail at the age of 13! Eventually, the two came together to form Wells Fargo & Company AND the American Express Company in the mid-1800s. Again, I was surprised to hear about the initiation of a company like American Express.

The letter to Wells Fargo & Company is actually not that exciting. George Chaffey is writing to Wells Fargo & Company about sending cash to someone named E. B. Love through Wells Fargo & Company. I could not figure out who E. B. Love was or what his significance might be--that will have to be a task for a historian who is better equipped.

Week Eight - Last Week

Hey Everyone!

Last Friday we had our final presentations and I think it went really well! I got to learn so much about what some of the other fellows learned and what they thought about their jobs. I was a bit nervous about presenting but I think I did a good job not showing that while I was presenting.

Today is my last day working as a CLIR CCEPS fellow. I learned so many great skills and felt really good about my contributions to the whole. Learning about all that goes on behind the scenes has really changed the way I view and appreciate sources available online. This was probably one of my favorite jobs that I've had so far. I've always been really interested in gaining hands on experience with the archival process, and this job has given me that.  It has also helped me feel more independent as a person and has helped me budget my time better as a student.

"California Sorrows"

Hello everybody!

This week something exciting happened. While I was going through one of the "miscellany" folders, I found a wonderful poem about T.S. Eliot and Emily Hale's time in Claremont. 

The following is my favorite part of the poem: "Eliot wished to ride with Emily Hale / east in her little roadster / across a scrubby desert / to a hamburger place called the In and Out / that became famous with the poets." How funny is it to imagine THE T.S. Eliot at In n Out? 

It's written by Mary Kinzie and I became curious to know her connection to the poets and Claremont. So I wrote to her. She responded back within minutes: "My source for information about Eliot and Emily Hale is the Eliot biography by Lyndall Gordon. I wrote parts of this sequence when I was visiting my daughter who was then attending CMC." 

I hope to invite her to the Athenaeum to speak about her poem!

Here's the full link to her poem if anyone's interested:

Thanks for reading!



Presentation Day!

Hi everyone!

Today in about 2,946 seconds, I will be sharing my experience as a CCEPS CLIR Water Fellow! It has been an awesome year working alongside other CCEPS Fellows. Although my last work day for the semester is almost here, I am excited to start up again in June! So even though I might be ending my CLIR Water work next week, I will be back during the summer to further explore southern California water documents!

Until next time,

Angel Ornelas