Irrigation and Farming

Irrigation and Farming (HMXOT)

Location: Golden, CO 80401 Jefferson County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 45.404', W 105° 13.355'

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Clear Creek irrigation ditches provide water to farmers east of Golden. Many irrigation ditches were dug in the 1800s, making the Clear Creek valley the breadbasket of early Colorado. Golden's first resident, David King Wall, introduced irrigation following his arrival from South Bend, Indiana on April 30, 1859. Wall had caught a different "gold fever" than everyone else at the time, bringing with him a wagonload of seed. With a farmer's keen observance for soil quality he noted the richness of the land along Clear Creek.

Laying claim to a small acreage where Tucker Gulch enters Clear Creek, Wall plowed a furrow from the gulch and the water "oozed along the hillside," thus establishing the first irrigation ditch. That year, Wall netted the then amazing sum of $2,000 for his garden produce, selling to miners hungry for something fresh. He also proved to the skeptics that agriculture could thrive in what had long been termed the "Great American Desert."

Wall became known as the "Father of Agriculture in Colorado." He and his brother, John C. Wall, sold the produce at their store on the northwest bank near this bridge. Of course, many farmers followed Wall's example. By the late 1800s, irrigation farming had become well established and profitable.

Background photo: View southwest of Golden, of Ralston Creek irrigation ditch, circa 1890. Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection.
Caption: David King Wall, Courtesy Colorado Historical Society

Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 9:15pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 480933 N 4400781
Decimal Degrees39.75673333, -105.22258333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 45.404', W 105° 13.355'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 45' 24.24" N, 105° 13' 21.30" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)303, 720
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1054-1098 Washington Ave, Golden CO 80401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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