Oakland Daily Times

December, 1875


In 1866, Mr. Chabot made a survey and examination of the surrounding country, with a view of introducing water into Oakland. After spending a portion of the summer in the work, he found two localities that would be suitable for the purpose of storing water, as is usual in most counties, one being at Temescal and the other at San Leandro Creek. The Population being small, the one at Temescal was taken as it was considered the least expensive project. The Contra Costa Water Company was then organized by Mr. Chabot who endeavored to get some of Oakland's citizens to take some stock; but not one advanced dollar. He then bought the land and built the necessary dam at Temescal the elevation being 400 feet above the city base. The little lake or reservoir when completed was half a mile long, 75 feet deep, and held 300,000 ,000 gallons of water, which was brought into the city, the pipes being first laid in the fall of 1866. The population of Oakland at the time was only 2500, and it was supposed that the lake would furnish sufficient water for fifteen or twenty years; but a few years afterwards the Central Pacific Railroad Company entered the city and it commenced to grow very rapidly when it was found that the water supply would soon be inadequate, Mr. Chabot again looked towards San Leandro and began purchasing the land and water rights in another man's name, so that eventually he had about 4,000 acres of land, extending from the Grass Valley Ranch down to the Contra Costa Valley, and extending about a mile back from the border of the lake.


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