Leyner Cottonwood Ditch

Leyner-Cottonwood Ditch

Established: April 1 1865

Priority Number: 13

Acres under ditch: 7055 originally

Water Source: South Boulder Creek via New Dry Creek Carrier

The Leyner Cottonwood Ditch started out as two ditches: the Leyner Ditch and the Cottonwood #1 Ditch. Both ditches were supplied by the Dry Creek Carrier Ditch, which diverts South Boulder Creek water over into the Dry Creek drainage. In 1899, the two ditches decided to consolidate into one, to move all the water into the higher Cottonwood Ditch, and to abandon the lower Leyner Ditch.

The ditch is named for Peter A. Leyner, who immigrated to the United States from Bavaria when he was 10 years old. His family settled in Ohio, and Peter worked at farming, shop-keeping and real estate. He married Maria in 1859 when he was 27, and 3 months later headed out to Colorado by ox team with his bride, to seek their fortunes.

They first settled in Left Hand Canyon, where they grew vegetables to supply the miners. In 1863, they moved out to the Boulder Valley and rented a farm from William Davidson. In 1865, they finally were able to buy their own 160 acre farm. Leyner immediately started construction of his ditch and filed for water rights. Over the next 15 years, he bought more land until he had over 700 acres, most of which was under irrigation.

Peter A Leyner and Maria Duke Leyner
The Leyner family home on 107th and Jasper Rd, ca 1878 

Stock Certificate courtesy of Leyner Ditch Company.  Photos courtesy of Carnegie Branch Library of Local History.

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