The Tulare City Historical Society and Tulare Historical Museum will present its latest ‘Sundays @ 2’ program on March 19. Richard Zack of Visalia will give a presentation and book signing on his book “Quest For Water, Tulare Irrigation District: Its History, People and Progression.”
Founded September 21, 1889, the Tulare Irrigation District is considered the fourth-oldest irrigation district in California, with a present size of approximately 70,000 acres. Zach, a registered civil engineer and former high school English teacher, has more than just a personal interest in the history of TID, but much rather a passion with it. Growing up as a fourth-generation Tularean, Zach spent his youthful summers traveling canal banks with his father David Zach, who was TID’s first engineer-manager and worked there for 40 years.
Zach was commissioned by the irrigation district to write the book, which took three years of fulltime work, he said. What makes this book different than other irrigation district histories up and down the state, is that “I knew the people, I was writing about,” he said. What also makes it different, is his work at making the content less dry and, well, a bit more humorous.
“One way or another, I knew I would have to write this book,” he said. “It is a book of destiny.”
For a couple of years, Zach returned to riding the canal banks with his father. And, while his dad had the satisfaction and knowledge that Zach was writing the book, he didn’t live to see the finished product.
Interesting highlights in the book and presentation are Tulare’s Bond Burning celebration in 1903, and the 20-year litigation between TID and the Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District, considered a textbook legal case to this day.
“Quest For Water” is packed with more than 490 photographs, maps, letters, and drawings, many of which have never before been seen outside private collections. Zach traveled as far as Washington State, just south of the Canadian border to locate photos and interview people for the book.
Join the museum for this presentation on the Valley’s precious resource, and the role which the Tulare Irrigation District has had with it for 127 years. The program will be held at 2pm in the Heritage Art Gallery at the Tulare Historical Museum. The program is open to the public and is free of charge. Admission to the museum is also free on this day during its hours of operation, 12:30-4pm.
Copies of the book will be for sale the day of the event. Copies are also available at the museum gift shop during regular hours, as well as through the Tulare Irrigation District.