Merced County Times Newspaper
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Taking over control of the Crocker-Huffman water system


Historical photos of the early Crocker-Huffman canals and flumes in Merced County.
Historical photos of the early Crocker-Huffman canals and flumes in Merced County.

The Crocker-Huffman Land and Water Company was interested in selling the water portion of its business as early as 1914, but different parties could not agree on a plan.

In 1920, the newly formed MID hired J. D. Galloway of San Francisco as the first engineer to investigate water supply, storage, distribution of the existing works and rights of the Crocker-Huffman Co.

Galloway filed his report in January 1921, and MID purchased the Crocker-Huffman water system and rights for $2,250,000 in January 1922. MID, hence, inherited one of the oldest water rights in California — the Perrin, Yeiser, Foreman & Blunt Ditch. These four individuals established the rights in 1857 when they built a wooden crib dam to divert water from the Merced River to their land on the south bank.

The Times is publishing historical photos and information about the development of irrigation systems, and the growth of the Merced Irrigation District. The district and the Merced County Historical Society are planning a community celebration and exhibit in recognition of MID’s 100-year Anniversary on Nov. 7. The date coincides with the formation of the District: MID was established in November 1919. More information can be found online at: or

Also, if you have a story, a photo or an artifact related to the history of Merced Irrigation District, the organizers of the exhibit want to know about it. Contact Museum Director Sarah Lim at (209) 723-2401 or by email at: [email protected]

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