tv Early History of Lake Havasu CSPAN November 3, 2018 9:24pm-9:41pm EDT
in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. here we are now, entering copper canyon. copper canyon is rich in history , the largest producing copper mine along the colorado river during the mining and steam boating era. best days a bit -- it is known for being the original party destination on lake have a soup. the miners started to arrive in 1854. the miners would have called their or many miles from their camps. they would take them to collection points established along the river. this is where they would meet the steamboats. paddleboats would travel from the sea of cortez several hundred miles up the river to the black canyon, located near las vegas. >> up next, we visit the lake
havasu museum of history to hear more about the area's history prior to the settlement of the city. >> i think our early history is important because everybody heres, there were people long before mcculloch was even born. recognizetant that we that our history didn't start in 1963 when he started selling lots. it started way back. hundreds if not thousands of years ago. the first folks that lived in this area where the native americans, of course. long before columbus and all those folks from europe started coming over. they were part of the southern paiute type of indian. they were hunter gatherers and they would move around, they
would move to different areas in the southwest here, depending on where water was, where food was, where game was. they didn't want to stay anyplace too long. they would deplete the land. they moved around. this was one of the areas, nice river flowing through here. after the spring floods, they could grow vegetables, corn, beans, squash in the bottomlands. that is now where the lake is. it was a good place to spend part of the summer, you could always jump in the water if it was too hot. they would grow their vegetables and move on later in the air to toferent places -- year different places where there was less open conditions. this is a display we have about the mojave's, up the river, north of us. they were generally on the arizona side of the river.
but they were back and forth across the river, too. across the river right now are they calledvy -- the special people. we have displays of some of the things that they used, the native plants and animals. the skills they had. is, they usedting the stuff that was here, the natural materials. they wove baskets. they made pots. they use the grinding stones that we are all familiar with. they used different plants that were available. this basket is an example. they have light weaving, they have the dark. how did they get the dark? was it painted?
was it painted? no, they use native plants. we have an example here. it's called devils claw. you don't want to get this in your socks. they would soak this in water and it would become pliable. they would use that for the dark parts of the weaving. one of the things we like to point out to visitors to the museum, this area has been explored by europeans starting ,ven before the eastern states first colonies. everybody thinks of jamestown as the beginning of the united states. that was 1607. a spanish explorer came out of mexico and wandered through this area, he didn't say. -- stay. he was able to record what he saw. we had explorers all the way from 1600. we are not, we may be one of the newest states that we are not
the newest explored part of north america. i would like to point out that before mr. mcculloch got here and build his town, we had miners wandering around out here. minds time, there were 45 es in the mountains behind us. some were not productive at all. we have a lot of artifacts here. this is a box of, where you would store your dynamite. people had these little tobacco tins. why are these laying around and why are they in a stack of stones? if you were a minor and filed a claim, you had to have the claim papers posted on the claim. it weren't a lot of trees. they would make a karen. put a tobacco tin in it with papers saying, this is my claim, you can't have it.
we've had the luck of finding some of these in the hills behind us. primarily, we are after gold, silver, copper. they were fairly successful from the 1840's up until world war ii. another thing that people don't realize, on the colorado river, we had steamboats. during the course of 60 years, from 1852 to 1916, we had over 100 different steamboats on the river. not all at the same time. from the gulfe up of california, down by yuma, it would go as far up as the black canyon, the canyon just below hoover dam. sometimes they would go to another town that was right at the mouth of the virgin river. there was a mormon town.
if they could get through black canyon which is pretty rough, they could trade with the mormons. they hauled goods up and down the river. duringuld only travel the daytime because there were no lights out here. on this river unless you can see where you are going because there's a sandbar every 50 feet. nicer now because the dams have made it pretty and blue. it was dark red water, colorado means red river. they couldn't see where they were going at night. they would tie up to the bank and waited out. must've been an interesting trip in august when the temperature is 120 in the daytime and it cools down to 105 at night. no air-conditioning on those steamboats. this is an example of one of the steamboats. they were very shallow. ,his one was 145 feet long
draft of 18 inches. it weighed 179 tons, could carry 80 tons. a lot of times, when the water was low late in the summer or early fall, they would go up backwards because the paddles at the rear would dig a trench through the sandbars so the book could get through. if you went normally, you would hang up on the sandbar. maybe you could get back to offer maybe you couldn't. was stuck steamboats on a sandbar for 56 days. -- shop off and show local critters for food and traded with the native americans. finally the river rose enough they could get the boat off and continue their journey. but he funny. -- pretty funny. the thing that change this area of the colorado river was the building of dams.
the first ones were down in imperial county to die for water for the crops in the area around the solvency. -- salton sea. damr on, they build hoover towards las vegas. that was the first big dam on the river. city's of southern california and arizona and nevada developed, they needed more water. dam decided to build parker , primarily to serve as a source of water for southern california. took them several years to build it. they finished in 1938. it provided a big lake here, lake havasu on the colorado river. it was one of the last ones built.
the name havasu comes from a local couple who were brought down when the dam was finished and the lake was full, nice and blue. they said, what do you think of it? we need a name for it. speak a lot didn't of english said, havasu. in their language it means, lou green water. these to be brown or red. -- blue green water. it used to be read. americans toative thank for the name of our lake and city. during world war ii, there was a huge army air base up and king went. -- king and. there was a base where they chain -- trained gunners. you've all seen the turn, top and bottom, guys in the waste of the airplane with the door open.
they're ready to shoot at enemy airplanes. county was a gunnery practice range. there were only 4000 people living in the whole county about time. there wasn't a lot of worry about shooting somebody asked emily. -- accidentally. this was one of seven sites that the air core set up for emerging -- emergency landing fields. these were brand-new airplanes. they were coming out of the factories. they weren't thoroughly checked out. had a problem, they had all these emergency landing fields. there were seven of them in the county. our landing field on the island was called emergency landing fields six. site six. air core members are not dumb. this was a wonderful site. with fish in it.
it is nice and warm. i think we are going to have a mechanical problem when we take our practice flights and chiefng on friday, crew make sure the fishing gear and a couple of cases are beer -- of beer are in our bombay when we have our emergency. so they would land and enjoy themselves. the army wasn't him either. they said, if you guys are going to do that, we will make it an official rest and relaxation base. not only the trainees, but people coming back from battle could have a place to come and unwind and relax. they turned it into an r&r base. they built barracks and the mess hall. they had fishing boats that the guys could take out and try for catching fish. it was a wonderful thing for the army air corps.
it went back to being a fishing camp which is what it had been beforehand. the army didn't know that anybody owns the land. the people that owned the land said, thank you for building buildings for us for a fishing camp. we won't charge you any rent. they took over the buildings that the army corps had built. sprat'spread -- fishing camp. you could fly in, go fishing for a week. you are in the middle of nowhere. nobody is going to bother you, it was a great time to go fishing. developed, the rest of the island was bought. those went away. it's amazing, the stories that we have here. we want to preserve those and
share those with our kids and grandkids and their grandkids. it's important to know where you came from. otherwise you have no idea where you are going. are cities tour staff recently traveled to lake havasu city to learn about its wrist history -- rich history. find more about our tour at c-span.org/citiestour. you are watching american history tv on c-span3. sunday night on afterwards, mike pence's daughter talks about their book "were you go: life lessons from my father." >> have you ever thought that growing up, why can't we just have a more normal life? book, in one the
of the earlier chapters i say, i wouldn't have minded growing up in one house. that was what my parents thought they would do. we built a house in indiana. my mom planted three trees in the backyard when we were born. we put our handprints in the cement. very much thought that would be where we lived forever, in southern indianapolis. god had different plans for our life. for the grateful amazing opportunities and privilege that comes with being a public family. how tonts have shown me take it all in stride. how even in times when it is stressful, to just be really grateful for all those challenges and for how they make us closer as a family. >> watch sunday night at 9:00
eastern on book tv on c-span2. descendents of presidents from james monro to gerald r. ford convened in washington dc for a conference hosted by the white house historical association. interview kristin truman daniel, harry truman's grandson. this is just under 15 minutes. the last time you and i talked, you had just come back from japan. you are with a group of survivors of the atomic bombing there. your grandfather's legacy. you've been up to something else associated with his legacy. to me about your project. >>