Industrial Uses of Ditch Water: Then

Industrial Uses of Ditch Water: Then

In the 1860's, as more farmers had successful wheat harvests, grist and flour mills sprang up across Boulder. These mills were hydro-powered, and used ditch water to turn grindstones, and grind wheat into flour.

  • Red Rock Mill, powered by Farmers Ditch, later called Yount or McKenzie Mill

  • Sternberg Mill , powered by Anderson Ditch, South side of the creek

  • Housel-DeBacker Mill, powered by Butte Mill Ditch, 6967 Valmont Rd.

"A good stream of water from the Farmers' Ditch supplies the mill with a water power many times the capacity necessary to do the work, and hence much of the water is allowed to escape through a waste gate. A 17 inch Lefell wheel, with a fall of water of 28 feet, exerts as much power as a 22 horse engine. But 2 pair of burrs are in use, each having a diameter of 3 1/2 feet, and capable of grinding 125 bushels of flour per day of 18 hours work." --Boulder County News

Right: Yount Mill was powered by water from Farmers Ditch, via a wooden flume. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, Boulder CO

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