The damaged caused to part of the aqueduct by one of the bombings in 1927.
In 1927, the people of the Owens Valley forcefully tried twice to get their “stolen” water back from Los Angeles. In the first incident, the Alabama Gatehouse was bombed by approximately 100 angry locals who felt Los Angeles cheated them out of their water by sending a disguised Fred Eaton to buy land and water. Later that year, a smaller group of ten men bombed another portion of the aqueduct which caused 400 cubic feet of water to spill out into the desert and 450 feet of pipe to be destroyed. Both Los Angeles and Owens Valley newspapers blamed the other for the situation.
An article about the Watterson brothers, funders of the bombings.
The Watterson brothers had been funding the bombers who had attacked the California aqueduct. As owners of the Inyo County Bank, the Watterson brothers had been illegally selling securities owned by their depositors and using the money to fund the bombers. Residents had been suspecting this, but there was no solid evidence until investigator Will C. Wood proved the Watterson brothers guilty of 2.3 million dollars of embezzlement and fraud. With the arrest of the Watterson brothers in 1927, there was no more funding to continue bombing the aqueduct, and the California Water Wars were over. Many Owens Valley residents had to relocate and sell their homes after losing their life savings to the convicted Wattersons.
The effects of the massive explosions at No Name Siphon on May 14, 1927.
The Watterson brothers preparing and funding dynamite for the bombings in 1927.