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Archaeologist digs up insight about life in aqueduct camp

September 25, 2013

An ethnically diverse, mostly transient workforce built the L.A. Aqueduct and many workers lived in construction camps, such as the one shown here, located along the length of the 233-mile-long aqueduct. Photo courtesy Eastern California Museum

The remnants of a Los Angeles Aqueduct construction camp have produced insights into how the aqueduct workforce lived and worked, what they ate, smoked and drank, and how the physical layout of the camp itself reflected “scientific management practices” introduced in the early 1900s to improve productivity and control the diverse workforce.
From April 1912 to February 1913, about 140 workers occupied the Alabama Gates construction camp, which consisted of 36 structures, ranging from wood cabins to canvas tents reinforced with wood frames and wood floors. The camp was located just north of the Alabama Gates, between the aqueduct and the current highway, U.S. 395.
(Read more in the Thursday, Spet. 26, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.)

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