A Look at the Delta through the years and the latest attempt to mess with Nature or Revise the Delta!

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INDEX

TIMELINE

SUMMARY

ISSUES

DELTA MAPS

CANAL PLANS

HISTORIC MAPS

1820-1859

1860-1879

1880-1899

1900-1939

1940-1979

1980-1989

1990-1999

2000 DOCS

2001 DOCS

2002 DOCS

2003 DOCS

2004 DOCS

2005 DOCS

2006 DOCS

2007 DOCS

2008 DOCS

2009 DOCS

2010 DOCS

2011 DOCS

2012
Docs


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Delta Facts

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Historic Maps, writings and reports of the Delta and California:  1823 to 1859  (updated December 2013)
Note that you can "click" on each picture to see an enlarged version of the picture.  Maps were found online or scanned from old books, and then were cropped to show the Delta area only.  When available, the original map author or surveyor and its original publication date are provided.  By using the information, you may be able to research online to find full versions of the maps.  (This page is being reconstructed June 2013 to add about 300 additional files from 1840's through 1900)  
1823-1859    1860-1879   1880-1899  1900-1939   1940 - 1979  1980-1989  1990-1999  Official Surveys  
     Historic records and maps show that the Delta was an inland freshwater area where the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River converged and the waters dispersed into the Suisun Bay and San Francisco Bay.  Review of written descriptions and sketches from the first surveys show that there were large trees on the natural island levees of the Sacramento River, and islands of tules along the San Joaquin River.  The difference in the landside vegitation is important to note, as it indicates a historical difference in the natural quality of water that flowed from each of the rivers.  The Sacramento River water comes from snow melt from high in the Sierra's.  San Joaquin River water runs through the more salty soils of the lower San Joaquin Valley to reach the main river, which then flows north to the Delta.  Historically there was much less flow on the San Joaquin River, also, as little as 1/5 or less of the natural flow of the Sacramento River averaged over a span of years. 
What did the Delta and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers look like in 1850?  Lots of sketches and sample paintings gathered on the page Delta River Views.  The above painting recreates the historic Chrysopolis paddlewheeler traveling on Steamboat Slough on its midnight run in the 1870's Delta .
Video showing maps and sketches from 1850 Sacramento River Navigation
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1841-firstsoundings-suisun-sac.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1841soundings-tracelineadded.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1841-traceofsounding.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1847Navigation.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1848-1870s_travel_on_steamboat_slough.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1848-2000_history_of_california_canals.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1850-1869.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1850-1869-edited.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1850map-golddist.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1851miners-ryer.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1852_hogsback_shoal_compared.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1852_steamboat-middle_fork_travel.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1853williamson.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1854-survey-description.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1855map.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1866_delta_land_grants.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1866survey_map.pdf
1867casteam_navigation route-steamboat_slough.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1869_tideland_rec_co_map.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1869tidelands.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1869tidelands_map.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1869tidelands-bw.pdf
Hutchings_sac_river_steamboat_slough_san_joaquin.pdf
hutchings_sacramento_steamboat_san_joaquin.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/1871_robers_is.pdf
1850s salmon_steamboat_slough_hutching.pdf
A CHRONOLOGY OF SAN FRANCISCO.pdf
Blake_CA_geology_1853_AW.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/Higley_1861.pdf
Historical_California_Boundaries.pdf
hutchings_old_river-steamboatslough.pdf
hutchingsillustr02sanf.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/hutchings-yosemite.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/Minis_1875_1877.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/older_delta_map.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/ringgold_to_atwater.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/sacramento_shipwrecks1.pdf
Scenes_of_Wonder_and_Curiosity_in_Califo.pdf
scenesofwonder_hutchings-byms.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/steamboat_slough_old.pdf
1840-1879_docs/pdfs/steamboatslough-1906.pdf





As early as 1855 Delta lands were surveyed and acts of Congress and the state allowed for the sale of lands to be reclaimed for farming.  The map above came from state records.  The map below, left, from DWR 21st century documents, is wrong based on recorded history and other publications by DWR in previous years.

The maps above come from agency reports that summarize reclamation timing of the Delta islands.  Note that DWR in the 21st century has been attempting to revise historical records for several of the Delta islands.  Refer to documents published before 1998 for more accurate California history.
     

     


 

 Index Summary 
Compiled by Delta citizens and Delta Voices Last Modified :01/15/14 04:34 PM Copyright 2009-2013 ,