5th Street in Downtown Los Angeles in the 20’s.
The Hollywood Sign when it was first built in 1923.
William Mulholland bought 80% of the McNally Ditch rights in 1923. When local residents found out, they weren’t happy, and some farmers tried to steal the ditch water by directing it to their own ditches. Mulholland fought back by having one of the crews dig a new ditch near Big Pine to take back the water. In 1923, residents of Big Pine asked the district to get a warrant to stop the city from taking water by digging on their grounds. This escalated up to the irrigation district’s director and asked to get an injunction against the city. The director, George Warren, said the court could not help them in a fight against the city. Thus, Warren got a group together, with rifles and shotguns, to surround the construction site and halt further progress. The construction workers, hired by Mulholland and led by Dodsen, were convinced to stop all work on the ditch after a chat with Warren’s crew.
Los Angeles changed drastically in the 1920s. For one, there was an enormous population boom. The growing population had many effects on the newly built city. In the 1920s, LA exceeded the one million population mark. As a result of this, the oil industry was doing well, as many jobs were being filled by the new middle-class citizens. Because of the new people living there, the real estate market was profiting as well. In fact, there were about 350 new people moving to LA every single day! But the growing population also caused problems. For example, water was scarce, and with the number of people arriving, the city was sure to run out if they didn't think fast. William Mulholland had predicted that the aqueduct would provide the LA area with enough water for half a century, but at the rate of growth LA was experiencing, it’s water supply wouldn’t last nearly as long.
The Los Angeles Town Hall, built in 1926.
The growing city of Los Angeles in the 1920’s