EXHIBITS

First Canals

Building a canal is always a labor-intensive process; even more so for those lacking advanced tools or machinery, like Providence’s early settlers. Whenever possible, ox-driven plows helped carve out the initial line, but picks and shovels were always required.[19]  A piece of equipment called a “go devil” provided the finishing touch by creating banks out of the loose soil.[20]  This machine consisted of two logs joined in a V-shape, and “several yoke of oxen” and a load of men provided the necessary weight force.[21]

 

Besides brute strength, the formation of canals required engineering and mathematical know-how. The ground had to be surveyed and measured to ensure the water would flow downhill.[22]  Water pails to test the surface angle were all that was available in some instances (the tilt of the water in the bucket would indicate whether there was a downward slope) but a few of the larger projects used plumbs or Jacob’s Staffs—surveying tools that help gauge the angle of the ground more precisely.[23]  Unfortunately, even with more advanced measuring tools, mistakes did happen. In 1864, settlers began work on a canal that would bring water from the Logan River into Providence.[24]  The project had to be abandoned two years later when the people discovered that the surveyor had read his instrument upside down: the workers spent all their effort building an uphill ditch.[25]

Map showing original diversion point of first canal<br />

With this overhead view highlighting the Millville-Providence Blacksmith Fork Canals (upper and lower), one can see just how how far the first canal's diversion point is from Providence City.

[15] Doran Baker, The Waters of Spring Creek: Life Resource of Providence (Logan, UT: Utah State University, 1974), Synopsis page 1.
[16] Baker, Waters, Synopsis page 1.
[17] Baker, Waters, Synopsis page 1.
[18] Ricks and Cooley, 447 (Appendix).
[19] Ricks and Cooley, 149.
[20] Ricks and Cooley, 149.
[21] Ricks and Cooley, 149.
[22] Ricks and Cooley, 149.
[23] Ricks and Cooley, 149.
[24] Baker, Waters, Synopsis page 1.
[25] Ricks and Cooley, 149.