Monday, December 14, 2009

Bishop--My World

Bishop, California, for 15 years it was our home town. The largest town in the Owens Valley and the largest in Inyo county, it has a population of less than 4,000 with little room to grow. Most of the surrounding land is owned by the City of Los Angeles. Most of what LA doesn't own is owned by the federal government or is held by Piute-Shoshone bands. Los Angeles is over 200 miles south and Reno, NV 200 miles north. Few highways cross the Sierra to the west and most of these are closed in winter.
The economy is largely dependant on tourism. With abundant hiking, fishing and rock climbing in the area, the town tries to make itself appealing to tourists. In addition to sprucing up main street the town has had murals painted in several places where there are large exposed walls. These murals depict scenes from the area's past and are some of the nicest I have encountered in my travels. The first one we spotted was over a store entry and commemorates the early railroad. The slim princess is on view at the local railroad museum of Laws.
This one is on the side of a restaurant and depicts the inn which had once been on the site.
Across the street is a large three part mural showing more of the areas history


Father Crowley was priest and friend to the area's residents. In the 1930s he was an advocate for area tourism. The LADWP named a major reservoir in his honor.

This one is the most personally meaningful to me. It shows the area where we lived, at the confluence of Pine Creek and the Owens River. Our children went to school in Round Valley with the children from the mining camp at Rovana. Round Valley and its K-8 school was our world until the boys started high school in Bishop. Then Bishop became our focus.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, Hubby in the Bronx. Who would have thought that the most important years of our lives would have been spent in this small, isolated, rural community.
See more worlds at My World Tuesday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia.

12 comments:

Carolyn Ford said...

Bishop is such a great little town. My husband has stayed at a place called "Paradise." He likes to stay there when he is on his fishing trips. It's a real low budget little place but the setting is 'paradise,' he says. I agree, beautiful murals can be found there.

Linda Reeder said...

The murals are wonderful. I would love to know your story of how you ended up in the Owens Valley.

Barb said...

Hi Martha, I loved seeing your photos and learning some of the history of Bishop. It looks like a true wild-west mining town. It is funny that two city-folk chose to live there! Sounds as though you really enjoyed it, though. Is your cabin near Bishop?

Denise said...

That is such a lovely My World post Martha. I have enjoyed traveling out west and seeing these beautiful murals in many of the towns we have passed through, a great way to show the history of these towns.

Sylvia K said...

What a marvelous post, Martha! I love the murals and learning about an area I was unfamiliar with. What an interesting town and it's history. Love your photos!

Have a great week!

Sylvia

Johnny Nutcase said...

Bishop! one of my favorite towns! I spent about a month in the White Mountains at Crooked Creek Research Station and would come into Bishop to get supplies...love it there! thanks for the post and the photos :)

Photo Cache said...

It's beautiful out there, I would love to go back and explore some more.

caughtbymycamera said...

Very nice pictures of the murals. They make the town very attractive.

Carver said...

The murals are great. Looks like a great place to have raised your children.

Gattina said...

Very interesting ! I love these mural paintings !

Diane AZ said...

Bishop is charming, looks like a wonderful place to raise a family. The murals are exquisite!

azplantlady said...

Hi Martha,

I am a LA native and unfortunately, never been to Bishop. However, my cousin and her husband recently moved there and they just love it there. Thank you for showing us the charm of this little town.