Water By The Bucket


During the days of Yerba Buena, citizens took their water from a few streams, springs, and wells. These sources were no longer adequate by 1849, so householders bought water by the barrel. Water peddlers served regular routes with barrels in carts. Some had barrels slung across the back of a donkey.

One such peddler, Juan Miguel Aguirre, took water from several locations. During periods of scarcity, Señor Aguirre reportedly charged as much as one dollar in gold for a bucket of drinking water, his business earning some $30 per day.

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