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Before The Salton Sea -- Showing Swamp & Overflowed Lands on the Colorado River

Northeastern sheet of T.D. Beasley's extremely rare 6 sheet map of San Diego County, published prior to the creation of Imperial County and Riverside County.

This section tracks a long portion of the Colorado River in the east, from the Sand Island Shoals to Lighthouse Rock.  Ehrenberg is located in Arizona, but not Blythe, which would be immediately to the west.

The most interesting historical detail of the map is the Dry Lake, noted as 260 feet below sea level.  In 1905, floodwaters of the Colorado Canal would breach the Imperial Valley irrigation canals and flood the dry lake, creating the Salton Sea.  At` 260 feet below sea level, the dry lake was comparable to the Badwater Basin of Death Valley, which at 282 feet below sea level is the lower point in North America.

A second fascinating area is labeled Swamp & Overflow Lands, which are now the starkly verdant areas around Blythe, Ripley and the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, a green oasis in a sea of desert.

The ephemeral community names on the map have virtually all disappeared, with the exception of Frink's Spring (Frink), Dos Palmos (Dos Palmas Preserve), and Fish Spring.  Tabaseca Tank also still exists.

This is the earliest and largest of several Beasley maps of San Diego County, issued between 1890 and 1893.


OCLC locates copies in the Library of Congress, UC Berkeley, and UC San Diego).


Condition Description
backed with old paper. minor foxing and pencil notes.