Graphic Arts and Celtic DNA

Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular


We don’t have any skyscrapers or other soaring architectural gems along the northern California coast to give the viewer that soaring, angular view.  However, there are a few other imposing angular views on a more human scale, which compliment the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the rustic ranchers who settled this coastline in the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries.

The ranchers needed scattered water supply points, and in the early days there was little or no power generation available along the north coast.  Ranchers typically used windmills to lift water from a well to a water storage tank built on top of a high, stiff-legged timber tower.  Water flowed by gravity in metal piping, from the tank to watering troughs for cattle, sprinklers for the hay fields, and to the ranch house.

Here are a couple of photos of a redwood water tower, probably built more than 100 years ago.  That means it would have had to survive the 1906 earthquake, which demolished a nearby masonry lighthouse.  However, a timber structure is more tolerant of seismic motion.  Notice the intricate framing design bracing the tower legs.  It still looks quite sturdy from the ground, but I didn’t want to climb it to investigate further!

HunterTank3 HunterTank5


2 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Angular

  1. All of those magnificent Redwoods…would that all that lumber was used for good and is still standing.


    • Yes, and in the early days I think the redwoods were being cut sparingly. However, when the ‘leveraged buyout’ craze took hold on Wall St., it was the beginning of the end. One of the buyout kings, R. Milikin, of Maxxim Inc. bought out a family firm that owned vast tracks of Redwoods in northern CA. Since he bought the business with other folk’s money, he had to start cutting redwoods like crazy, as opposed to sustainably. That was the era of men and women out here occupying the tops of redwoods two or three hundred feet up as ‘tree-sitters’ ,to prevent the tree getting ‘harvested.’ It only forced a small deal to be made: there’s now a small, central stand of ancient redwoods that will never be cut, in return for some government concessions to Maxxim. Capitalism marches on. (Milikin served time in jail for some financial misdeeds in the leveraged buyout era. He seems to be trying to do good now for some charitable health research endeavors. Amen.)


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