Jon Earnest, editor of the Reedley Exponent, found this gem of a story as he was searching the archives recently for stories on our last pandemic in 1918.
Pine Flat Dam had not yet been built.
Locals had to first form an irrigation district before moving forward with the Pine Flat Dam project on the Kings River.
At a meeting on Dec. 19, 1918, representatives from 24 school districts within the Fresno Canal district “put themselves on record as unqualifiedly in favor of forming an irrigation district,” the Reedley Exponent reported.
George Roeding, a member of the prominent Fresno agricultural family which donated the land for Roeding Park in Fresno, spoke in favor of creating the district and building the dam.
“The ownership of land and water and the irrigation of he land should be united, so that no question can ever arise as to who owns the water,” Roeding told representatives at the meeting, according to the Exponent story.
The dam was eventually built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1954.