Bishop in Inyo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Ernest Kinney Teamster Family Mural
First Panel Left:
The rig with the big wheels called “Michigan Wheels” is dragging the timber to the loading area to be put on a large flatbed wagon for transporting to the mill. These wagons had back wheels approximately five feet high and front wheels approximately four feet high, and were made from a solid cut of timber. They were hubbed and steel rimmed. A load of three to six of these timbers on a wagon weighed many tons. The milled lumber mostly went to the town and mines of Bodie, Aurora and Bridgeport.
The horses you see in the painting are heavy work stock. The Summers family came in to Bridgeport in 1850. The Summers and McGee’s drove the first head of cattle into the Owens Valley out of the Visalia area via Walker Pass in the Spring of 1861.
Sam Bishop follower their same route, arriving in August of 1861.
Summers/McGee drove on to Monoville and Aurora (established miners camps).
Summers/Kinneys settled on Round Valley Ranch in the late 1860’s.
Members of the Kinney family still live in Bishop today, including Ernest and his wife Yan.
The entire mural was conceived
A long-line team can stretch out 140 feet or more in front of the wagon. When going up hill and the land cresting, half of the team may be out of sight with a loss of pulling power; The same losses occur on sharp curves and switchbacks.
The four pushers in back and the two large wheelers in front of the tongue largely controlled wagon and weight until the team again lined up. Some loads to the power plant had 32 animals in front and four pushers in back with a load of 32 tons on one wagon. The pushers here were invaluable with this load in heavy sand.
They had tendency to raise the load as they pushed and were considered worth 10 animals in the front in this situation. These long line teams were controlled by one single line (like clothesline rope) by the muleskinner riding the near wheeler (left animal on the wagon tongue) with the line going to the front leader only. This line was called the jerk line. With one steady pull, the leader turns with the pull to the left. If the line is jerked two or three times
The orange generator part that they are hauling is part of power plant machinery and weighs approximately 20 tons. It is till in use today!
Spray Kinney was driving long-line teams at the age of twelve.
Third Panel Right:
Champion Spark Plug Mine.
The mule on the right is loaded with top-heavy mining equipment. Many of these types of loads exceeded 600 pounds.
There was a total of 16 mules making two trips each day. There were two packers, each man working a string of 8 mules.
The pack saddle used is an “Aparejo”. It is made of heavy leather and covers the mules back from the withers to hips and half-way down his sides. It is stuffed with flat grass hay and contoured to fit each individual animal, with the weight being evenly distributed. They were approximately 150 pounds according to size. Aparejo were used throughout the area in early days, packing
The two men in the painting are John Bachoch, a native American, and “Torres’; (he had to be half mule, half Mexican) and was a legend in his own time! Packer and mule worked summer and winter, twelve months a year.
The mules are wearing blinds for safety reasons for both mules and men. They were used on bad mules to handle high and heavy loads, and for shoeing, doctoring, etc. (Blinded, they stood a still as a statue.)
The descendents of John Bacoch still live today in Big Pine here in the Owens Valley.
Erected 1999 by Bishop Mural Society.
Location. 37° 21.796′ N, 118° 23.702′ W. Marker is in Bishop, California, in Inyo County. Marker is on North Main Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 362 North Main Street, Bishop CA 93514, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Little Kittie Inn (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Whiskey Creek History (about 500 feet away); Slim Princess History of "Dangerous Arrest" (about 700 feet away); "Atlas Copco Mucker" (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Mule (approx. 0.7 miles away); San Francis Ranch (approx. 3.2 miles away); Lynching of the Convicts (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bishop.
More about this marker. Mural painted by by Robert Thomas, John Knowlton JennaMorgenstein, Rich Perkins, Tory Michener and J.T. Schmidt. Located at Union Bank, north wall.
Also see . . . Bishop Mural Society. (Submitted on October 26, 2014, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2014, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 348 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on October 26, 2014, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.