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Valley Memories: The Catherine Mulholland Collection

September 20, 2011 to July 27, 2012
Library Exhibit Gallery

Catherine MulhollandFew families have played a larger role than the Mulhollands in the development of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Catherine Mulholland's grandfather, William Mulholland, was Chief Superintendent of the Los Angeles Bureau of Water Works and Supply (now the Department of Water and Power.) As such, he built the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which to this day brings water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Owens Valley to the San Fernando Valley and greater Los Angeles.

William's eldest son and Catherine Mulholland’s father, Perry, established and managed a 640-acre ranch for himself and his four siblings on land in the San Fernando Valley. Known as the Mulholland Orchard Company, the ranch remained in operation until 1965 and encompassed large portions of what are now the communities of Northridge and Canoga Park.

Catherine Mulholland loved libraries and the Oviatt in particular, and donated her personal archives and those of her family to the Library in order to preserve this important history for future generations. Her remarkable collection, dating back to the 1860s, is a journey through Valley history as seen through photographs, scrapbooks, memorabilia, clothing and ranch records of this pioneer family.

Curated by Holli Lovich.


Family tree depicting the ancestors of Catherine Mulholland.
Brothers, Hugh Patrick (left) and William Mulholland (right).
Judge Isaac Clay Ijams, otherwise known as the hangin’judge.
A view of the William and Lillie Mulholland family home.
Lillie Mulholland and children at Hollenbeck Park.
Letter from William Mulholland to his “Dear Kids."
Home of Isaac Clay and Edith Sikes Ijams, Calabasas, California, ca. 1910.
The Isaac and Edith Ijams family.
The Romance Of Water & Power by Don J. Kinsey.
Proposed map of the Aqueduct pipeline, from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles.
Los Angeles – Owens River Aqueduct construction crew, ca. 1902-1911.
View of the Cascades, opening day celebration of the Los Angeles.
The San Fernando Valley Walnut Growers Association.
First issue of the Owensmouth Gazette, vol. 1, no. 1, December 7, 1912.
Suburban Homes Company subdivision map, surveyed by V. J. Rowan, November 1910.
Cameo portraits of Catherine Mulholland, ages six to eighteen, 1929-1941.
William Mulholland and his grandchildren.
Catherine Mulholland, ca. 1996.

Assistive Services

Requests for accommodation services (e.g., sign language interpreters or transcribers) must be made at least five (5) business days in advance. Please e-mail library.event@csun.edu in advance of the event.