Saturday, April 24, 2010

The old flume -- then & now

Friend Andy C. sent this image of an old postcard entitled simply "an irrigation system near Prescott Arizona". He believes it is the original flume carrying water from Willow Creek in the Dells to the Bianconi Ranch. A brief history he passed along:

This property may have been owned by Joseph Curtis who grew peaches and melons prior to sale to Alfred Clough in 1877. Sharlot Hall Museum has photos of vineyards, apple trees, and a fishing lake on the Clough property. He died in 1908 and the ranch was bought by John Bianconi. Bianconi had the largest peach orchard in the state here (34 a) and produced many other crops. The Bianconi Brothers won many ribbons at the Arizona State Fair and the Northern Arizona Fair (later YC Fair). The flume was present by 1911. In 1936 when the Willow Lake Dam was built, Bianconi sued and received an award of water from the Chino Valley Irrigation District. This was all for naught, as his peach trees caught peach mosaic and were destroyed to prevent spread of the disease. The ranch was sold to a cattle rancher in 1941 and was bought by Robert H. Kieckhefer about 1950.

The remains I photographed last fall are the final bones of the flume system.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love the history lesson!

Sad to hear about their peach trees.

Agriculture is a risky, but rewarding, proposition. Hope ranchers and farmers don't all die out in the USA.

~Anon in AV.

Kathleen said...

What cool photos! Wow! Love the history of the place. I only knew about it belonging to the Kieckhefers. Very interesting to find out more about the history around here!

Granny J said...

anon av -- without our ag products, what else do we have left to export?

frame -- problem is that I began to taste those peaches in my mind's mouth and really got hungry!

Omegadad said...

I'm struck by the tree at the far left of the postcard... the one with the long thin leaves.

Any ideas?

Steve said...

The history was interesting. Nice post.

diana said...

Thanks for old and new snaps Granny J! I've been photographing the old barns in Tuolumne County, so was excited to see the barn in the distance.

Changes in the wind said...

I am an Arizona native and had no idea...thanks for the flash from the past....

Jarart said...

Great post, Julie!

Granny J said...

od -- likely it's a willow, as in Willow Creek. Or maybe a peach or almond.

steve -- history is very special when it comes in small doses and is so very localized.

diana -- did you catch that fine old barn in the post on Bradshaw Drive? It came as a wonderful surprise...

windy -- I'm surprised that peaches did so well up in this area, considering my problem with the apricots always getting zapped by frost.

jarart -- glad you enjoyed it.

Lucy said...

What a lovely word is 'flume'! And I like the colouring in the old photo.

A.Decker said...

Great pictures. I enjoy ruins, visually I mean. I also find I really enjoy the word "flume," a fact of which I was quite unaware, 'til this post.

Ha!Ha! Flume!
Sounds like it'd be fun to slide down one.

Granny J said...

lucy -- hand tinted, of course, but I was fascinated to see that the colors of the post card and of my photos were so similar...

deck -- for that, you would have to have travelled to Fossil Creek before they decommissioned the power plant. I don't know what happened to the big flume that ran down the canyon...

Maria Mcclain said...

Nice blog & history was interesting with beautiful snaps, i will visit ur blog very often, hope u go for this website to increase visitor.Happy Blogging!!!

 
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