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It was rudimentary work using only the most basic tools — picks, shovels and wheelbarrows. The project received no government funding but instead looked to an organization with a lot of influence in the region for the cash to keep moving forward. On both occasions, the would-be settlers of Hurricane held celebrations of thanksgiving.
Hurricane was settled a little less than two years later once the land was soaked and the ground sufficiently settled. What mattered to them was its functionality; but, keeping it functional required a lot of maintenance over the years. They rode the canal to check on it from Day One. Being a ditch rider was a 24 hour a day, seven day a week job, said Carl Wadsworth, who served as a ditch rider from to When a major leak showed itself, water had to be diverted out of the canal via one of the headgates so it could be repaired.
Wadsworth remembers one bad leak above where the Kolob Rehabilitation Center is now, which had to be patched by pushing wheelbarrows of cement up to the canal.
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Wadsworth said many of the minor leaks up the canyon could be repaired simply by patching them with shovelfuls of dirt and gravel. When difficult-to-move, large boulders fell into the canal, ditch riders had to painstakingly drill holes for dynamite to break them up into smaller pieces that could be more easily moved. The headgates were built mainly as safety measures. A sentry in Rockville would watch the river during a storm and call the canal rider if he thought opening the headgates was necessary. The major maintenance and cleaning of the canal took place in wintertime, when the canal was dry, usually from mid-December to early March.
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A ditch rider could not ride the bank the whole length of the canal because of its tunnels and flumes, but there were bypass trails to get from one bank to the next. Larry Hutchings, who served as a ditch rider during the early s, remembers a few times he had horses fall into the ditch while he was riding them. New horses venturing along the canal was a challenge the first few times, he said, even for horses that were well broken. Wadsworth said the first time any new horse crossed such spots, the ditch rider had to dismount and lead the horse across.
Clover was the only horse he rode during his ditch riding career because she was completely acclimated to it. At one of the headgates up the canyon, there was a fence with a gate ditch riders could close to let their horses graze. Wadsworth said he never had to close the gate as he trusted Clover would never go astray. She had been scared off by a herd of sheep running down to the river.
He was glad for the canine company, he said, especially when the dog warned him of rattlesnakes nearby that could have spooked Clover to the point of bucking him off — a fall that could have resulted in severe injury or death.
The dangers of the ditch rider job did claim a few horses over the years and one ditch rider, in Lee was able to remount his horse and ride into town but suffered a punctured lung and died from his injuries in the hospital later the same day. Hutchings, Wadsworth and Wright are the only three surviving ditch riders.
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They also rode in the Peach Days Parade that year as part of the recognition. Lazy rivers at water parks have nothing on the Hurricane Canal in its glory days. For those who grew up in Hurricane while the canal was running, tubing down it, especially the portion above town, was almost a rite of passage. It was so popular that Hurricane resident Harlen Winder operated a tube rental business from his shop on State Street. We would float across the bridge and down the canal to Three Falls where we would get out and then walk rolling our tubes down the street 60 East to my house.
It was so much fun. We would hold our heads low and our rear ends high to not hit the rocks above or below. Thus ended the need for ditch riders.
The Water Conservancy District installed a pipe at that location that continued to feed the canal above town for the next five years. The canal remains hanging along the canyon wall and on the hillside above the city of Hurricane, but it is a shell of its former glory. Numerous sections have been damaged or completely caved in by rock slides and some sections have filled with debris, weeds or both; other sections are still clean and intact like they could still take on water — and they do as a flood-control measure.
The easiest access point to view the canal is the trailhead at the end of North, east against the hill, marked by a bowery and a monument dedicated to the canal builders. Another access point is the Three Falls Trailhead, which is at the end of 60 East south of South. The more adventurous can access the canal in the canyon via the Virgin Dam Trailhead by driving on Highway 59 east from Hurricane for 3.pl.ebuhenugup.tk
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Drive down this road for 2 miles then turn left at the Hurricane Canal Trail sign, where it is 1. To view more information about the Hurricane Canal and more historic photos of it, visit the Washington County Historical Society webpage. Pictures from a government study on the canal can be viewed at the following search results webpage on the Library of Congress website.
See more photos in the gallery below. Click on a photo then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
A stone obelisk monument expressing the city of Hurricane's gratitude for the Hurricane Canal's builders and ditch riders. The monument stands by the Eagles Lodge next to State Street with a view of the canal on the horizon. Hurricane, Utah, Nov. George News. This historic photo circa shows former canal watermaster William Hinton standing at the headgate at the diversion dam that started the canal. This historic photo shows the canal taking a sharp turn just downstream from the Rockville Tunnel, Hurricane, Utah, date unspecified Photo courtesy of Carl Wadsworth, St.
This historic photo circa shows another perspective of former canal watermaster William Hinton standing at the headgate at the diversion dam that started the canal. This historic photo circa shows an area of the Hurricane Canal nicknamed "The Sand Trap" near the diversion dam. This historic photo circa shows former canal watermaster William Hinton standing at the west end of the Rockville Tunnel. This historic photo circa shows the view from downstream of sand being washed out of "The Sand Trap" via an open headgate on the Hurricane Canal.
This historic photo circa shows the view from upstream of sand being washed out of "The Sand Trap" via an open headgate on the Hurricane Canal. This historic photo from January shows a tear in the flume above Pah Tempe ripped by a rockfall. This historic photo from January shows steel fabricator Allen Lee far left outside the flume and his crew fixing the flume above Pah Tempe on the Hurricane Canal. This historic photo shows canal board member Ashby Reeve and his team of horses pulling a cart filled with gravel or cement to fix a major break in canal, Hurricane, Utah, Summer Photo courtesy of Carl Wadsworth, St.
This historic photo from January shows a crew cleaning the Hurricane Canal upstream from the Chinatown flume. Read more about hiking the Chinatown Wash with video here. The cart in the foreground contains the barrels of water to mix the cement. This historic photo from January shows a crew fixing the canal just west of the Chinatown Flume. This historic photo shows the imprint of the workers who fixed a portion of the Hurricane Canal just east of Pah Tempe in May These tools work in two ways.
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First, you can use them to measure an existing community, giving a rating of zero or more. Second, you can use them when you design a community, to help you focus your effort on where it will be most useful. We will look at these tools one by one and see how they work in various communities.
First, some general advice about building a community. Be brutally honest with yourself and with others. Your biggest challenge is overcoming your own prejudices and biases, and then those of everyone you work with. Whatever toolkit I can provide you with, you'll want to adapt and extend it for your own needs.
Social Architecture is still a very young science and many of my tools will be too complex, or incomplete. Here's the best way I know to do that:. The starting point for any community is a stated mission. The mission defines the goals that we can all agree on in advance, before we join the project.