A glimpse inside Three Rivers’ Power House Number 2 reveals equipment installed when the power house was constructed in 1905–equipment that still provides power to the region today!

By Sarah Elliott, 2 April 2019, 3RNews; editorial update 2 April 2021

Three Rivers hosts three  historic hydroelectric powerhouses, which provided the electricity that contributed to the growth of agriculture in the valley below and its eventual designation as “the world’s breadbasket.”

Power House Number 2, built in 1905 by Mt. Whitney Power & Electric Company, uses flume-fed water pressure to produce the kilowatts necessary to power 1,000 homes with clean, renewable energy. This is accomplished using some of the original equipment from 114 years ago (in photos).

Taken over by Southern California Edison in 1917, the hydroelectric system as a whole consists of four check dams at Mineral King (Franklin, Upper Monarch, Crystal, Eagle), two diversion dams (Middle Fork, Marble Fork), three forebays, many miles of flumes, and three powerhouses: Powerhouse No. 1, built in 1899, located on Highway 198 near the Mineral King Road; Powerhouse No. 2, described above; and Powerhouse No. 3, built in 1913.