Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Mother Ditch and The History Slugs

 
 
Mother Ditch Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, July 29, 2018
1. Mother Ditch Marker
Inscription.  All California State Parks must have either unique physical or historical assets. In 2000, the fate of this State Park hung partially on the question of whether physical traces of history could really be found here. The game-changing evidence was the piece of crumbling pipe in front of you. It was found one night by two amateur archaeologists.

Call to hear how they found the "Zanja Madre" and made the case for a historic park.
 
Erected by California State Parks. (Marker Number 5.)
 
Location. 34° 4.097′ N, 118° 13.988′ W. Marker is in Los Angeles, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of North Spring Street and Sotello Street, on the left when traveling north on North Spring Street. Located in Los Angeles State Historic Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1245 North Spring Street, Los Angeles CA 90012, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Portolá Trail (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Jewish Site in Los Angeles (approx. half a mile away); Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center
Mother Ditch Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, July 29, 2018
2. Mother Ditch Marker
The abandoned brick pipe is across the tracks, at the base of the concrete wall.
(approx. 0.6 miles away); San Antonio Winery (approx. 0.6 miles away); Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid (approx. ¾ mile away); Zanja Madre (approx. 0.8 miles away); Headquarters of Commander Robert Field Stockton (approx. 0.8 miles away); Jones Building (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
 
More about this marker. The Phone Number on the marker has been disconnected, see website.
 
Regarding Mother Ditch and The History Slugs. Zanja Madre is Spanish for Mother Ditch. It was the original earthen-walled ditch that carried water from the nearby Los Angeles River to the plaza of El Pueblo de Los Angeles. The Spanish-Colonial settlers and local Native Americans constructed it beginning in 1791. During the 1800’s the system of earthen ditches grew to nearly 50 miles in length, later being enclosed in brick to improve sanitation and reduce evaporation. By the early 1900’s, Los Angeles had outgrown its zanjas, and began importing water from the Owens Valley.
 
Also see . . .  This Park Is Made By People. The website shown on the marker has nine short audio recordings which describe the grassroots
Exposed Pipe image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, July 29, 2018
3. Exposed Pipe
effort to create this park. Recording #5: The History Slugs are two amateur archaeologists who discovered the zanja on a rainy night. (Submitted on July 30, 2018.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesParks & Recreational Areas
 
Viewed From Above. image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, July 29, 2018
4. Viewed From Above.
 

More. Search the internet for Mother Ditch and The History Slugs.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 31, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 30, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 30, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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