“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
El Centro in Imperial County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

McConnell Ranch

Established 1908

McConnell Ranch Marker image. Click for full size.
By James King, February 7, 2015
1. McConnell Ranch Marker
Inscription. In 1908 Hardy McConnell and son, Leslie, (A Native Son) left Temescal Canyon, near Corona, enroute to settle in Imperial Valley, driving two teams of horses pulling wagons, hauling farm implements, chickens and leading a cow.

Fourteen days later they arrived in the town of Imperial.

Buying raw desert land, the McConnell Family leveled the sand dunes with teams of horses pulling fresno scrapers. Once sand hills, McConnell Ranch is now a highly productive farm.

McConnell Ranch is still owned, operated and inhabited by the McConnell Family with six generations having lived on the Ranch.

This fence was built out of hay bales grown on McConnell Ranch.
Erected 2006 by Native Sons of the Golden West.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
Location. 32° 49.32′ N, 115° 29.044′ W. Marker is in El Centro, California, in Imperial County. Marker is on McConnell Road 1.3 miles north of E. Evan Hewes Hwy (County Route S80), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2341 McConnell Road, El Centro CA 92243, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles
McConnell Ranch Marker & Fence image. Click for full size.
By James King, February 7, 2015
2. McConnell Ranch Marker & Fence
of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Imperial Valley Veterans' Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); Pearl Harbor Survivors Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); Mobley Meadows (approx. 1.1 miles away); Site of Rancho El Tecolote (approx. 3.9 miles away); Harold Bell Wright (approx. 3.9 miles away); Women's 10,000 Club (approx. 4.9 miles away); Imperial Irrigation District (approx. 5.1 miles away); Imperial Valley Swiss Club (approx. 5.2 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. History of Irrigation in the Imperial Valley. " The story of the Imperial Valley is synonymous with the dream of irrigating the desert. In 1859, Dr. O.M. Wozencraft, who had originally come to California seeking gold in the Gold Rush in 1849, prevailed upon the California State Legislature to grant him the rights to 1,600 square miles of the Salton Sink as a destination for a canal carrying water from the Colorado River. His goal was irrigation for farm lands and water for inhabitants of the Colorado Desert Valley. His plans were interrupted by the Civil War, but his cause was taken up by Mr. C.R. Rockwood in 1892. Rockwood was an engineer originally employed by the Arizona and Sonora Land and Irrigation Company to determine if it was possible to irrigate land in Sonora, Mexico using Colorado River water. Finding this idea unproductive, he investigated Wozencraft's plan to irrigate the Salton Basin and use the Salton Sink
The New McConnell Ranch House image. Click for full size.
By James King, February 7, 2015
3. The New McConnell Ranch House
as a destination for canal drainage. The Arizona and Sonora Land and Irrigation Company changed its name to the Colorado River Irrigation Company and authorized Rockwood to conduct detailed surveys to plan the project. The money to proceed however, did not materialize. Rockwood sued to gain title to the data he had developed in 1894, and reformed the company into the California Development Company, with Mr. A.H. Heber, a Chicago promoter, as President, and himself as Vice President..."
(Submitted on March 17, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.) 

2. When the Imperial Valley Fought for its Life. "...No one foresaw it at the time, but when Rockwood’s men made the cut in Mexico and a tiny trickle of water began to flow down the Alamo canal, at that instant a no-quarter war began between man and river that raged for many years. It was a vicious struggle, and like all wars, left a trail of wreckage and heartbreak in its wake. Two great scars were gouged across the face of Imperial Valley, and Valley settlers watched helplessly as years of effort and wonderful hopes for the future crumbled. The struggle brought bankruptcy to the California Development Company and put the vast resources of the Southern Pacific Railroad to a severe test. The cost of controlling the river was so great that it was many years and a generation later before people of the Valley could consider the war won..." (Submitted on March 17, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.) 

3. The History of Imperial County, California (ebook). (Submitted on March 17, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California.)
Categories. AgricultureSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 17, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 276 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 17, 2015, by James King of San Miguel, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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