Monday, April 26, 2010

Sam's LADWP Sierra Salt File

Salt Tram history is rapidly disappearing, and we are striving to rediscover the efforts of our forefathers in order to give proper recognition to their hopes, dreams and abundant sweat from an era that is rapidly fading from our memories. We are actively seeking out information about the mining of Salt in Saline Valley between 1903 and the 1950's, including: documents, photos, articles, stories, artifacts, etc. If you can help us out, please email us at the address above - Thank-you! --Tim and Brian Waag, the Waag brothers (aka E. Clampus Waagus).
Caution (PLEASE READ): Climbing around on the tramway is dangerous because its really old and defnitely unsafe, so don't even think about it. Shoot, just getting to it requires some perilous hiking, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at the Zig Zag Access Trail (or what's left of it). Plus, climbing on it weakens it and endangers your life. Also, the Saline Valley Salt Tram is on the National Register of Historic Places and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. What little remains is of great historic value, and should not be disturbed in any way. Heck, its probably against the law to move parts of the tram around, and certainly a crime to take home some of the few bits of it that remain (though you'd have to ask your friendly local BLM agent for details). So please treat it with the respect it deserves, so that future generations can enjoy whats left, without you messing it up. Really. Please. You can see its listing on the National Register of Historic Places at these web links:
National Register of Historic Places 1          National Register of Historic Places 2

We met Sam Wasson, Jr. at the Eastern California Museum in March, 2010, and he had something to show us. It was an old LADWP file on the Sierra Salt Company, pertaining primarily to services provided to Sierra Salt in 1928, though there are documents in the file dated as late as 1938 (unless that was a typo). Anyways, first, we thank Sam for this contribution of a copy of the file for our research, and he has indicated that he may have more to come (we hope so). 

We started this blog for the exclusive purpose of making known our research efforts, just so that we could unearth such documents before they end up in the dump (if they aren't there already!). We have only had time for a cursory view of these documents from Mr. Wasson, and will report here when we have analyzed them in detail. However, suffice it to say that from a quick peek, it is apparent that most of the documents have to do with help from the power company to get the Salt Tram restarted! - how exciting is that! And what a job it must have been. 

In any case, these documents were in the possession of Sam's Uncle, who we are calling Sam Wasson, Sr., before being passed on to Sam Jr. Sam Jr. indicated that they were very close before he passed on. Coincidentally, while doing our periodical research recently, I found a brief article about Sam Jr's Uncle, Sam Sr. As a token of appreciation to Sam Jr. for his contribution to the Salt Tram History, that article from the Inyo Register dated April 24, 1913, is shown below (click to enlarge):


No comments:

Post a Comment