First White Settler Inhabitiation in Owens Valley

First White Settler Inhabitiation in Owens Valley

Details:
Painting Date
30th of November -0001
Detailed Image Link
Description:

A. Van Fleet Cabin built on this site in August of 1861.

 

Van Fleet Family Highlights

In this photograph is Carol Viscarra’s great great grandfather – Allen Ebenezer Van Fleet. Allen built the first cabin on the Owens river in 1861. He was actively involved and wounded in the Owens Valley Indian War. The Van Fleets were pioneers in the cattle and sheep industry in Owens Valley until Los Angeles robbed Owens Valley of its most precious resource – water. Because of this, the VanFleets fled Owens Valley and relocated in the Mason Valley of Nevada.

When Allen Ebenezer Conrad Van Fleet arrived in the Owens Valley in 1861, he and three other men drove a herd of cattle into Owens Valley from Mason Valley Nevada. It was this herd of cattle that were such an attraction to the native peoples of the Owens Valley. incidents of stealing cattle were key in setting off the Owens Valley Indian War in 1861 – 1863. Van Fleet took an Indian arrow in the chest during the Indian Wars. He was successful in removing the shaft but the arrow head remained in his chest for life. It floated around and many doctors wanted to remove it, but he always refused, and took it with him to the grave.

An interesting note is that after the Van Fleet family and other pioneer families relocated to the Mason Valley of Nevada they had an annual picnic on the West Walker River in the Mason Valley. They called it “The Owens Valley Picnic.” All old friends and neighbors that had relocated to this area in Nevada from Owens Valley were invited and attended and it became an annual reunion.

Carol Van Fleet Viscarra

Where Vincent Was:
Inyo County

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