Land, water and money….

This week I continued to work on the collections from the A.K. Smiley Public Library. Since I was working on the metadata, I had read through some of the items in order to form a description. While doing so, I found an interesting item. It was a letter sent between a landowner and James T. Taylor (sometimes also referred to as Jas T. Taylor), one of the investigators who was selected by a board of committee
members to investigate and ascertain the most reliable and at the same
time the cheapest water supply to the City of Perris.
The landowner stated in his letter that he had around 80 acres of land located in the Alessandro district and wanted water supply given by the Bear Valley Water Company at a reasonable price in order to irrigate his land. Since I had never heard of the location, I started to do a little research on the Alessandro district and found out that irrigation in Southern California was begun by Spanish Mission priests in the beginning of the 19th century. The means of construction for irrigation was crude and narrowly limited along with a lack of experience and technology. The developments in advanced irrigation had only begun by around 1870. One of the reasons why the Alessandro district became an attractive location for irrigation was because it was all upon one plain, sloping south toward a basin whose immediate bottom is occupied by a great rugged cluster of granite hills i.e. the plain slopes from the surrounding hills to the base of this interior group in the San Jacinto Valley, making it an ideal place of irrigation.
Considering these facts, I was able to understand why many landowners wanted to irrigate large portions of their land. Because of the requirement of water supply, the Bear Valley Water Company and the Bear Valley Irrigation Company were later established leading to establishments of residents forming a whole mini-economy.