Olive Through the Ages

Santa Ana River at Olive: Maps and images

Taming the river | Maps and images
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The maps and images accessible via links from this page accompany the story about the taming of the Santa Ana River at Olive. My thanks to Chris Jepsen and Susan Berumen of the Orange County Archives for providing many of these images, as well as the video footage showing the 1938 flood of at Olive. Additionally, I would like to thank Susan Pelis (a descendant of the Watson family) for informing me that a portion of the S.A.V.I. Co. canal still exists in the Santa Ana Canyon, and for identifying the location of that site. - Daralee

          

Click/tap the thumbnail images below to view larger images in a separate browser window or tab:

River crossing point

Santa Ana River historical crossing point

This recent photo suggests the point where historical figures crossed the river at Olive, close to present day Glassell Street bridge.
 


Santa Ana River historical crossing point


This map suggests the river crossing site for: Gaspár de Portolá, Juan Bautista de Anza, and Stephen Watts Kearny and Robert Field Stockton.
         
Irrigation in Olive

1810-1857 irrigation in Olive

This composite image shows the location of the irrigation ditches made by Tomás Yorba and Teodocio Yorba. (Source: SL)


1857-1889 irrigation in Olive

This composite image shows the location of the S.A.V.I. Co. irrigation canals, tunnel, and reservoir. (Source: SL)
         
S.A.V.I. Company canal and tunnel

1892 SAVI tunnel illustration

This illustration of the S.A.V.I. Co. tunnel and canal appeared in an 1892 edition of Los Angeles Times.


SAVI tunnel, circa 1900

This photo shows the mouth of the S.A.V.I. Co. tunnel circa 1900. (Source: OPL)
         
SAVI canal, circa 1910 This photo shows the construction of the concrete S.A.V.I. Co. pipe circa 1910. (Source: OPL)   SAVI canal, circa 1936 This photo shows the open S.A.V.I. Co. canal north of Olive circa 1936. (Source: OPL)
         
SAVI Co. canal remnant in  2011 Susan Pelis, a descendant of the Watsons, informed me that this portion of the S.A.V.I. Co. canal still exists by Santa Ana Canyon Road.   SAVI Co. canal bridge Susan Pelis clued me in on this old, battered, wooden bridge that spanned the S.A.V.I. Co. canal just east of Lakeview Avenue.
         
Bridges then and now

Jefferson St. bridges, 1916

This image shows the new and old Jefferson St. (Tustin Avenue) bridges after the 1916 flood. (Source: OC Archives)


Tustin Avenue bridge, 2010

This photo shows the Tustin Avenue bridge in 2010.
         
Santa Fe Railway bridge, 1938 This image shows the Santa Fe Railway bridge in 1938 during the flood. (Source: OC Archives)   BNSF Railway bridge, 2009 This photo shows the BNSF Railway bridge in 2009.
         
Lincoln Avenue bridge, May 1970
This image shows the Lincoln Avenue bridge in May 1970 before it was demolished in June. (Source: OC Archives)

Lincoln Avenue bridge, 2009 This image shows the Lincoln Avenue bridge in 2009.
         
Santa Ana Canyon river view

Olive, 1926

This painting by William Wendt shows the Santa Ana River in the Santa Ana Canyon in 1938.
 
Santa Ana Canyon, 91 Freeway

This 2010 photo shows a similar view of the Santa Ana Canyon depicted in Wendt's painting.
         
Santa Ana River bend, 1997 This 1997 photo shows the Santa Ana River where it exits the Santa Ana Canyon and bends south. (Source: OPL)      
         
March 2, 1938 flood at Olive -
historical video footage courtesy Orange County Archives

 

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