This Saturday in Lone Pine, local volunteers and officials are set to gather at the El Dorado Savings Bank on Main Street to dedicate a new eighty eight foot long mural. This large piece of public art commemorates a celebration from the past, the Wedding of the Waters Pageant of 1937. What is that, you ask?
Kerry Powell, who helped design and paint the large mural, explained that in 1937 Father John Crowley organized a complex celebration of a new road to Death Valley that bypassed the rough road that dropped into Panamint Valley from the then large town of Darwin. The idea behind the celebration was to gather a gourd of water from Lake Tulainyo, high in the Mt. Whitney Region, and bring the water to the lowest point in the United States at Badwater in Death Valley.
The water was carried by stage coach, 20 mule team, train to Keeler, and then by plane to Badwater over the course of a weekend. Celebrations ensued along the way. When the water from the highest point reached the lowest point in Death Valley, a signal fire was lit. This fire was seen by other people, people who lit signal fires on various peaks including Telescope Peak, to pass the message all the way to another crew with a signal fire on top of Mt. Whitney.
It is this unique celebration that is memorialized in the new mural sponsored by the Lone Pine Community Association, and the New Coso Heritage Society, and paid for by many donations.
The dedication of the mural is this Saturday at the El Dorado Savings Bank at 11:00 am.