Monday, November 17, 2008

Pioneer Museum – Imperial Valley

Produce Labels at the Pioneer Museum in Imperial Valley

We spent an hour touring the Pioneer Museum of the Imperial Valley. What I learned: 1) The current incarnation of the Salton Sea was formed from a 1905 flood when the Colorado River broke a dike and flooded what was called the Salton Sink. 2) Barbara Worth was a character in the novel The Winning of Barbara Worth by Harold Bell Wright (1872 – 1944). Wright was a resident of the Imperial Valley and has a section in the museum dedicated to him. 3) A sand spike is a natural concretion that they still don’t know for sure how it is formed. (Wave action in Pleistocene sea is one possibility). The spikes seem to be only found in the Imperial Valley and, in particular, around Mt. Signal. 4) After water was first brought to what was called the Colorado Desert in 1901 and now is called the Imperial Valley, people of all nationalities came to the valley to farm. The museum in fact has a large section with small exhibits dedicated to nationalities like French, Japanese, Portuguese, Lebanese, East Indian, Greek, and of course Italian to name a few. Local families of each nationality donated items for the exhibits.

We happened to go with a couple of long time residents of the area so it was interesting to watch their reactions to the museum pointing out so-and-so and getting the back-story .

The Pioneer Museum is located near the Imperial Valley College at 373 East Aten Road on Highway 111 in Imperial, California. There is a small admission fee.

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