12. Irrigating the Valley

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    Always the innovator, Dr. Chandler was looking out for machinery that would make irrigation work easier.  Like his earlier steam dredgers, this 1913 steam powered ditcher helped carry out the immense work necessary to create and maintain the vast numbers of irrigation ditches and laterals.  This machine with its revolving buckets could dig 1,500 to 2,500 linear feet of irrigation ditch per day.

    Dr. Chandler’s work resulted in a vast network of canals, laterals, and irrigation ditches.  In this photo the Lewis family works to flood irrigate their crops using water delivered from one of the many irrigation ditches.

    With the delivery of water, the desert literally turned green with agricultural fields.  The photo shows fruit orchards on the Lewis Ranch.  In the background, the fast growing town of Chandler stretches from horizon to horizon.  The new San Marcos Hotel is visible in the center.  In the picture taken a few years later, the Lewis homestead is surrounded by never-ending cotton fields.


    ♦Exhibit Home 13. Early Irrigation Policy ►


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