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Hanging Flume

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1891, N. P. Turner. 5.7 miles northwest of Uravan on Colorado 141 at the confluence of the Dolores and San Miguel rivers (NR)

Gold placer miners at Mesa Creek constructed this aqueduct to divert some of the San Miguel River to their diggings. The 6foot-wide-by-4-foot-deep flume clings to the canyon walls 100 to 150 feet above the river and 200 to 500 feet below the rims of the San Miguel River and Dolores River canyons. Sills were fastened to the cliff by iron pins and supported by cantilevered timbers, also pinned to the cliff. From these sills workers were lowered in baskets to hand drill pinholes for the flume. The flume itself was then used to bring workers and supplies to the construction site. The flume, completed at a cost of $100,000, carried over 80 million gallons of water per day. Maintenance was a constant problem, and the flume was abandoned in 1893. Neighboring ranchers took much of the lumber, but sections are still visible along Colorado 141.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Hanging Flume", [Naturita, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 584-584.

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