Goodhue Ditch

Goodhue Ditch

Established: June 1 1873

Priority Number: 29

Acres under ditch: 5425 originally

Water Source: South Boulder Creek

Detail from the Goodhue stock certificate.

Abner’s wife Clara was stockholder #1 on the Goodhue, which was originally called the South Boulder & Rock Creek Ditch.

Abner Goodhue was born in Canada in 1832, but spent his youth in Minnesota. As a young man, he traveled throughout the west and worked with Buffalo Bill Cody in the late 1860’s, supplying buffalo meat to the railroad crews.

Around 1870, Goodhue passed through the Rock Creek Station, a stage stop near present day Broomfield, with 100 head of horses. The owners were anxious to sell the station, because the new railroad was cutting into their business. In 1871, Goodhue bought the station and settled down. 

In 1873, Goodhue and his neighbors worked together to hand dig the 20 mile-long South Boulder and Rock Creek Ditch, and the 10 acre Goodhue Reservoir #1. They enlarged and extended the ditch in 1875 and 1885, filing for more water, adding 2 laterals, and enlarging the ditch. The name of the ditch was eventually changed to the Goodhue Ditch.

By 1896, Goodhue owned 1440 acres. He specialized in horse breeding, and raised cattle as well. He died in 1912, shortly after building a lovely Craftsman style bungalow for his wife Clara and 3 sons. Clara and her sons continued to run the farm and ditch company for another 12 years, but a drought and national “farm crisis” did them in. The bank foreclosed on their farm in 1924.

The Goodhue Ditch has about 400 users and 2 major laterals. The north lateral goes out to Erie and the south lateral to Broomfield. The Goodhue fills Sterns Lake and Waneka Reservoir in Lafayette.

Abner Goodhue.

Stock Certificate and photo courtesy of Boulder County Open Space Department.

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