Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Bear River Canal has 150-plus year history"

"Bear River Canal has 150-plus year history: Sections of canal still formed by china walls alone" by Nancy Hagman, © Colfax Record, May 12, 2011. (Newspaper Article)

"... As river gold 'panned out' in just a few years, miners turned to hydraulic mining that required huge amounts of water fed to the large monitors – very big hose nozzles. These would blast away hillsides and reveal gold located in ancient riverbeds deep in the hillsides. Enterprising men organized the South Yuba Water Company to supply this demand. They built arterial systems of hand-dug ditches and wooden flumes diverting water from its natural course. After completion of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1869, many skilled Chinese laborers went to work for the ditch company. They constructed new and improved older structures with their knowledge of building dry-stack rock walls. Known as 'china walls,' there are many examples around Colfax. They still stand today as a testament to the capability of the builders. ... " [More]

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