A trace of desert waters the Great Basin story by Samuel G. Houghton. SAMUEL G. HOUGHTON.

A trace of desert waters the Great Basin story by Samuel G. Houghton. Glendale, California: The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1976. 23.4x15.3 cm, pp. [1-11] 12-13 [14-19] 20-287 [288-290: blank], 24 illustrations, 10 maps, one folded, original reddish orange cloth, spine panel stamped in gold. First edition. "Western Lands and Waters Series," volume X. This posthumously published appreciation of the Great Basin is of interest as Sierra Nevada literature for its presentation of geographical and historical data on the Lahontan water system of eastern California and western Nevada, rivers that once flowed into a Pleistocene lake of which only traces remain. "This vast landlocked expanse of prehistoric lakes, their gradual desiccation, and the impact of water scarcity on its inhabitants are here described, with some projections for the future as well. The basin is thoroughly analyzed in a style both readable and scholarly. Early aborigines, Indians, Peter Skene Ogden, Jeddediah Smith, Frémont, the Mormons, Donner party and others, through their experiences reveal the challenges of travel, settlement and survival itself in the rigorous climate of this region" (publisher's flap copy). "This book is an extension of six articles written for the quarterly magazine Nevada Highways and Parks, which dealt with some of the ancient lakes in the Great Basin and their surviving remnants. It seemed logical and worthwhile to expand the material they presented so as to include the entire province and bring together in a single account the several kinds of history involving not only the lakes -- but also the rivers supplying them. The function of water as a geographic and ethnographic determinant must be evident upon any examination, however superficial, of this broad region" (foreword, p. [11]). Samuel G. Houghton (d. 1975), a longtime resident of Reno, Nevada, was an enthusiastic outdoorsman who knew and loved the land that he writes of here. The book was reprinted in 1986 with a short foreword by archeologist Jessie D. Jennings and a series of color photographs by Philip Hyde. Paher 896. Touch of rubbing to cloth at spine ends and several corner tips, a nearly fine copy in very good dust jacket with light wear along top and bottom edges and clipped price. (#166395).

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