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Description

The Receding Salton Sea and Paving The State Highways Through Imperial County

Fine early map of Imperial County, California, published by the Edward Denny Company in 1913 and extensively annotated by G.R. Wade, whose name appeared at the bottom center of the map.

Imperial County was incorporated in 1907, previously having been the eastern part of San Diego County.  Denny's map is one of the earliest obtainable printed maps of the county.

Of particular note, Wade has drawn in the "Line of the [Salton] Sea Feb . 1916", apparently based upon a USG Map.  The Salton Sea was likely already retreating by this date, as both a road and bridge are shown in the southern part of the Lake, which by that time must have been dry.  

At the southern border, Ward has added at least one major irrigation canal, which he has labelled "East Side Main Canal," which likely shows the then planned eastern end of the irrigated portion of the Valley.  A number of the monuments from the border survey are located, as are wells, early settlements, etc.

The annotations include the location of "Paved State Roads" (in red), County Roads (in brown), with a note that there are "No Paved County Roads".  The map also locates and names a number of Bridges.  While the area is entirely desert, the location of bridges would have been essential for crossing the seasonal creeks, which would have been largely impassable even in dry months, because of the nature of the creek beds.

A note on the State Highway suggests that it is paved from San Diego to El Centro, with the area east toward Yuma "Accepted as State Highway", but still unpaved.  

West of the newly formed Salton Sea, a similar unpaved road is noted as "State Highway, Oregon to Ocean Highway." Near Kane Springs, Wade has written "Bridge 352 Ft. Contract let Feby. 18, 1918."