WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
MAIN CANYON DITCH (42WS4376)
New Harmony, Utah
LOCATIONThe Main Canyon Ditch originates up in Main Canyon of the Pine Valley Mountains and runs down to drain into the Town Ditch for delivery to the Town of New Harmony. It runs for 340 meters (1,115 feet) within T 38S, Range 13W, Section 21.
HISTORYThe Work Projects Administration (WPA) constructed the Main Canyon Ditch most likely in 1935 or 1936, but prior to the Comanche Ditch. Construction was supervised by a man from Cedar City, maybe named Lewis. Workers involved in the construction included five men from the Leeds CCC Camp who traveled up from Leeds to the work site each day. Local workers included Marion Prince, Reese Davis, Ashby Pace, Ed Grant, Cleve LaBaron, and Jim Prince. Reese, Ashby Ed, and Cleve supplied horse teams.
The ditch was dug by hand using picks and shovels. Large rocks were occasionally blasted out of the way by drilling a hole within them and placing a stick of dynamite in the hole. The ditch width and depth were determined by specifications provided by engineers from the WPA. There were no roads along the edge of the ditch, only to certain points. Horse teams pulling large steel skids were used to haul the rocks and cement. Then cement was mixed by hand in large wooden boxes, hauled in wheelbarrows, and then shoveled into the ditch. The ditch was lined with rocks. It took two summers to complete the job. None of the workers involved in the construction process had any experience in ditch building, so many lessons were learned at they went along.
In the early spring of 1952, the cement Main Canyon Ditch needed rebuilding. A little work here and there was no longer sufficient, and a new bottom was needed the entire length of the ditch. The poor road along the ditch was repaired and 250-300 yards of gravel were hauled in.
REFERENCESHistoric Context and Detailed Documentation of the Main Canyon Ditch, Town Ditch, Comanche Dam (42WS4376), and Comanche Ditch (42WS2507), New Harmony, Washington County, Utah
by Dale R Gourley and Jon Baxter (Bighorn Arhaeological Consultants, LLC)
for The Town of New Harmony and St. George Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management
Report Number 05-03