River in Ruin: The Story of the Carmel River

By Ray A. March | Go to book overview

4 WATER DEMAND INCREASES
A Second Dam Is Built

As Crocker lay dying in his room at the Hotel Del Monte, construction of a second, larger reservoir was underway in the confines of Del Monte Forest. In August 1888, about one hundred Chinese workers were again called on to perform the labor of excavation, burning brush, cutting down pine trees, hauling them off, dynamiting the stumps that remained, and driving a ten-horse plow. By October their numbers had increased to a staggering seventeen hundred when the midday train carrying another three hundred Chinese workers arrived in Monterey. The main work camp was pitched at the north end of the reservoir under some trees. The Chinese encampment was a short distance away. However, within a week some of the workers were taken to Templeton, California, to extend Southern Pacific’s railroad line further south. Templeton, south of the Monterey Peninsula and in San Luis Obispo County, was a two-yearold town and was named for Crocker’s grandson. Originally, the town was to be named “Crocker.” At the time the Chinese workers were sent there, Templeton was the last stop on the southbound Southern Pacific’s railroad line. And, to the north across Monterey Bay, in Santa Cruz, observers were shocked at the Pacific Improvement Company’s investment: Not only was the water supply system to the Hotel Del Monte and burgeoning Pacific Grove and Monterey already larger in size than Santa Cruz’s, the company had also built a reservoir that cost more than the entirely new water system being proposed for Santa Cruz.

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