Re: Keeler

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Posted by Dezdan on January 07, 2003 at 00:16:16:

In Reply to: Keeler posted by Merrilee on January 06, 2003 at 23:30:08:

I don't know how you can contact the town of Keeler, if you can really call it a town! I don't think Keeler has a town hall or anything like that. Off the wall, you may want to try calling the good people at the Keeler Post Office (760) 876-5635 and see if they could help you any. If you are looking for records on Julius, you would most likely want to contact the Inyo County Recorder's Office in  Independence (760) 878-0222, and the Inyo County Library in Bishop (760) 873-5115 and Independence (760) 878-0260  as they some historical and genealogical stuff for the area as well.


Also, if you haven't already, the book, From this Mountain: Cerro Gordo by Robert C. Likes & Glenn R. Day has the following info on Julius M. Keeler:


"Julius M. Keeler arrived in Owens Valley in the winter of 1879-80. As an agent for D. N. Hawley, Keeler represented the Owens Lake Mining and Milling Company. Having purchased the Union Consolidated holdings at Cerro Gordo, Keeler began laying out a town and mill site near the Cerro Gordo landing in March 1880.

The Owens Lake Mining and Milling Company purchased Colonel Stevens' inactive lumber company as a means of obtaining construction material for the proposed town. The steamer Molly Stevens was included in the purchase. After the damaged section of the flume was restored, the sawmill was put into operation in October 1880. The Molly Stevens delivered the first consignment of lumber across the lake, and the small community called Hawley began taking shape. The name of the town was later changed to Keeler.

The steamer Molly Stevens did not prove to be as efficient as Julius Keeler had earlier hoped for. The Bessie Brady was pulled off the beach at Ferguson's Landing in the spring of 1882. After being towed to Keeler, her weathered hull was completely reconditioned. The Molly Stevens was dismantled and the powerful engine from the U.S.S. Pensacola was removed and refitted into the Bessie Brady.

On May 11, 1882, a spontaneous combustion from the oil, paint, and tar turned the Bessie Brady into an inferno. After sparing no expense to restore the steamboat, all that Julius Keeler could do was stand and watch her burn. Steamboat navigation on the Owens Lake had come to an end."

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