Farmers Ditch

Established: October 1, 1862

Priority Number: 14

Acres under ditch: 3000 originally

"We hereby sirtify that the cost of building and compleating the Farmers Ditch for the first three miles ?? about completed will be Twenty five hundred dollars. And judging from the cost of the work already done, the cost of building and compleating the remaining ?? miles will be Three Thousand Dollars being a total of Five Thousand five hundred dollars."

J A Tourtellot, Treas & Director
Jerome Thomas, Sect & Director

Farmers Ditch was the biggest most ambitious ditch of its day. J. A. Tourtellot and Jerome Thomas built the 8 mile long ditch for $5500. This was a huge sum in its day, but North Boulder farmers were eager for ditch water. Within 10 years, the company had paid off its debt.

Farmers Ditch was the first source of water for most of the City of Boulder, delivering water to residences down 7 laterals through town. It also supplied water to power a flour mill near the present-day Justice Center.

Farmers Ditch installed the largest siphon in Boulder, under North Boulder Park in 1953. This siphon eliminated 3300 feet of leaky ditch which had turned the park into a swamp, and freed up 16 building sites.

On average, Farmers Ditch is turned on in early May, and is run until mid-September, or about 112 days.  

Clipping and letter courtesy of Carnegie Branch Library of Local History.

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