Idaho Free Press from Nampa, Idaho on February 27, 1976 · Page 55
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Idaho Free Press from Nampa, Idaho · Page 55

Nampa, Idaho
Issue Date:
Friday, February 27, 1976
Page 55
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The Idaho Free Press. Kriday, Febnary 27,1976 -D^ Roy Ganow, a long-time employe of the Gem Irrigation District, invented several pieces of equipment including this nootus" for cleaning moss from ditches. Irrigation essential to Owyhee County By Alice Van Atta ·^Irrigation is essential in the development of^any arid Jand. lObs!er\Se*'Sjyyhee ^ C o u n t y . Immigrants crossing the dry sage brush land, seeing the mighty Snake flowing beside the desert must have envisioned green fields and trees. , Women probably even allowed themselves the luxury of a dVeam of a few flowers; they could plant the seeds secreted along from Ihe gardens of homes they had l e f t ; if they could just cjear the land of the eVergrowing sagebrush and get the water to the land. ! We can view evidence of irrigation in many locations Ihroughoul Owyhec County. £bme have remained lo become large developments, others arc fjint reminders of earlier efforts. I People who followed ihe rfiiners into the Ruby City-Silver, City area slopped along creeks lo plant and use these waters for gardens and stock. These waters were not always constant enough" lo bring success! On Reynolds Creek where now are ranches with (heir fields of hay and grazing cattle, the remains of orchards and gardens thai furnished produce lo the early flourishing mining camp still can be seen. In 1909 one of the largest irrigation districts along Ihe Snake River was organized by privale enterprise. It slarled with a board of directors of three men. later expanded to five. A contract was let lo a Canadian firm to build a pumping plant on the Snake River at a ptoce approximately two miles above what is now Ihe town of Marsing. The contract for (he canals was with H. W. Morrision and M. H. Knudsen. This contract was approved by the board in 1913. A second smaller plant was built below llomedale. This ^Irrigation pioneers move a Bucyrus Erie all-electric dragline across the bridge at Marsing in1921. plant was phased out about 1935. The first power was purchased from Idaho Power Company and_ canie'from Swan'Falls! Early equipment for the plant weighed up lo 12 tons and had lo be ferried across the Snake River. Water was pumped by seven pumps (later Iwo more were added) up the hills through wooden penstocks into the A, B and C canals. Penstocks were wooden "pipes" held together by iron hands, these penstocks sprang leaks and twice each day a man would walk t h e m , carrying wooden pegs and a hatchel lo plug these ever- present leaks. Because of (heir number there was a greal loss of water. Now Ihe old penstocks are gone, replaced by concrete and steel pipes. In 1935 the Owyhee Project was started as a Bureau of R e c l a m a t i o n Project. Waler from Ihe Owyhee Reservoir is distributed (o both Oregon and Idaho lands. There is a total of 105,000 acres in Ihe project, including the Gem Irrigation Dislrict. In 1952 [he bureau lurned over the operation of the project to landowners. The Gem district along w i t h t h e R i d g e v i e w district in Malhcur County, Ore., were Ihcn operated on a contractual basis by the South Board of Control, · O w y h e e Project wilh headquarters in llomedale and the remaining land was operated by the North Board of Conlrols out of Nyssn, Ore. The South Board areas comprising 40,000 acres are watered from two sources, Ihe Owyhee Reservoir by gravity 60 per cent and Ihe Snake River by pump 40 per cent. For greater understanding and appreciation, contrast today's irrigation methods and e q u i p m e n l lo the f a r m e r grubbing Ihe sagebrush, lo Ihe dilch rider patrolling on horse back, lo men repairing dilch breaks w i t h horse-drawn scrapers, lo emergency communications by scattered crank telephones. Pioneers in the Gem Irrigalion District were J. H. Lowell, Willard Robinson, Roy Ganow and many names of the pasl, dedicating themselves to gelling water delivered, so never a crop should be without waler for any length of lime. No less dedicated are the men working today to serve a much larger acreage under the guidance of Tom Cotton. Under the guidance of Cotton and Roy Ganow the pumping plant was remodeled in 1963, hopefully will pump waler for another 50 years. Owyhee County has contributed its share to this ever- growing United States anil fittingly should take ill place in celebration of the Bicentennial. FIRST IT W A S . . . · SHAW SHEET METIL THEN... SHEET METIL CO. AND NOW METAL CO. 1918 * * * ^ LOCATION ON 14th AVE. SO* * * * * * * * * * NEW 1939 BUILDING ON UTH AVE. SO. ll has been 60 years since Mi Hugh Shaw founded Shaw Sheet Melol in Ihe old Dewcy Paloce LaunJry Suilding on 2nd St. So. In 1918 Mr. Show purchased ihe old Cavalry Born, and moved il 1o Ulh A v e . So. where the business operated until 1939 when a new biick building was buill on the tile. Mi Shaw passed away m 1943 and (he business was operand during Ihe war yeais by his wile. BUKe (Freda) Shaw. Afler compleling his hikH In the U. S. Navy, B'llie Shaw returned ard became Manager of ihe business until 1953 when he sold oul to Sob Ferdinand. Stiaw is now In the Wholesale Business in BoEse. Bob Ferdinand has operaled ihe business ever since rrovlng 10 1323 llth Ave. No. tKs same yeur. Early In 1967 ihe name ·wo* changed lo Ferdinand Melol Co. and the business moved Inlo new. spacious quarters al 1616 Induslriat Road in Nam pa Indusliial Pork, Recenlty we have doubled the space, along with our services. OUR SERVICES TO WU MCLVDE: · WARM AIR HEATING · AIR CONDITIONING · ROOFING SERVICE · GENERAL SHEET METAL · GUARANTEED WORK · FREE ESTIMATES · STEEL FABRICATION · TURN .KEY INSTALLATION · MANUFACTURE OF CUSTOM PROCESSING EQUIPMENT let us discuss your needs wild you and make knowltdgeablt rttm memfations.' NEW 1953 IOCMION AT 1313 U TH AV£. N. EXT. And ... *****»% 1H W NEW 1967 LOCATION FERDINAND METAL CO. Phone 466-7881 AIR MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS" · HEATING · COOLING · ROOFING Nifty Weather Machine Headq uarters

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