and quite rich. There is a great deal of the vally that is worthless at present on the account of alkali, but I think that it will all be reclaimed by a system of drains to wash out the alkali.
A large percent of the area of the valley is below sea level and has a salt water table within twenty feet of the surface, but the Gov. experts say that a proper drainage systems will prevent the water table rising any closer to the surface.
June 1, 1905
Mr John Muir
I have just received a letter from Mr Colby informing me that my name had been placed on the Sierra Club list at your request. I am sure I greatly appreciate and thank you for you rememberance of me.
I would like very much to take a trip
with the Sierra Club this year but I am afraid that I could not get off from my work. I am holding the position of assistant secretary for Imperial Water Co No 5. this office is at a place called Holtville some fifteen miles southeast of the town of Imperial. I have been troubled with catarrah for a year or more and it was steadily getting worse so I decided to try the desert climate for awhile. I am in hopes that it will help me. This is a very dry, hot climate, 120º at times, and ought to dry the catarrah out of the system.
There has been a wonderfull change in this country with the bringing in of the Colorado river water. Something over 125,000 acres has been placed under cultivation in the four years since it opened and it gives promise of being a very productive section.
The soil is all silt deposits
There is one great drawback to the country and that the irrigation system is in the hand of a private corporation which is overwaterd both ways. You see their receips go for paying interest on waterd stock instead of building a permanent heading at the canal intake on the Colorado and the high water has has repeatedly taken out the heading lower down and the farmer goes goes dry.
[in margin: M McKelvey]
But there is prospects of Uncle Sam taking over the system and if he does the aera under cultivation will be doubled in the next year.
Have you written any articles describing your trip through Sibera. I hope that you had a pleasant and profitable trip. Do you expect to spend your summer in the mountains.
Well I must close Kindly remember me to your wife and dughters. Hoping this find you well.
I remain yours sincerely
San Diego Ca.
June 1, 1905.
San Diego Co. [Calif.]
Original letter dimensions: 16.5 x 26 cm.
McKelvey, Muir, "Letter from Muir McKelvey to John Muir, 1905 Jun 1." (1905). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3343.
Reel 15, Image 0505
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Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters