Thursday, March 25, 2010
Mystery History -- Solved
I'm awarding this week's fabulous prize to Cindy for her 7:03 a.m. Tuesday answer "WWII (1943) Rose Bowl. The sheep were used to keep the grass short until games could begin again." (Cindy, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and I'll tell you about the prize.)
Actually, the photo is undated and there is no cited information that it was shot during World War II, but sure enough, there was a time when sheep were used as natural lawnmowers to keep the Rose Bowl Stadium's field turf at a manageable length.
For many years sheep were part of the landscape in the Arroyo Seco, from the Indiana Colony days until the early 1910s.
In the photo below, a herd grazes at what was known as Sheep Corral Springs on the hillside area at the site of the present-day Brookside Park.
When the Indiana Colony was established, water from the springs was delivered via pipeline to orange groves and homes in the vicinity. The water rights to the springs were owned by the San Gabriel Orange Grove Association, made up of 12 of the colonists.
I feel compelled to write all about water in the early days but I'll save that for another time.