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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Byron in Big Horn County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Sidon Canal

 
 
Sidon Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
1. Sidon Canal Marker
Inscription. Following Mormon settlement of the Salt Lake Valley beginning in 1847, church leaders envisioned colonization of the entire inter-mountain region. In following decades, Mormons emigrated from Utah into Idaho, Arizona and Wyoming. Seeking to improve their economic status and following Mormon pioneering tradition, several hundred people in 1900 emigrated from Utah and Idaho to Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin where they built a canal and a community.
Under the Carey Act of 1894 states were encouraged to sell arable public land cheaply following reclamation. But private reclamation projects required capital, and some were aborted as investors lost faith. Unlike other privately-financed projects, the Sidon Canal was built without a large amount of capital. Emigrants were organized into the Big Horn Colonization Company, an irrigation cooperative which offered company shares in return for labor. Upon arriving in the Basin workers plunged into canal construction, excavating with horse-drawn plows and slip scrapers. Near this point work was blocked by a sandstone boulder known as “Prayer Rock.” According to legend, prayer and divine intervention caused the rock to split, allowing construction to continue and strengthening the emigrant faith in the canal project.
The 37-mile long canal was completed in less than two years.
Sidon Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
2. Sidon Canal Marker
It still transports water from a headgate on the Shoshone River near the Big Horn-Park County line to a land segregation of approximately 20,000 acres. Its successful completion serves as an outstanding example of the cooperative effort and spirit of determination exhibited by Mormon pioneers in the American West.
 
Erected by Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.
 
Location. 44° 46.404′ N, 108° 34.344′ W. Marker is near Byron, Wyoming, in Big Horn County. Marker is on Alternate U.S. 14A at milepost 35, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Byron WY 82412, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Byron Sessions (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Mormon Colonists (approx. 8 miles away); The Jeep (approx. 9.9 miles away); Henry Gilbert, Jr. Memorial (approx. 10 miles away).
 
More about this marker. The marker is located at a turnout on the north side of U.S. Highway 14A about 3.2 miles west of Byron.
 
Categories. Settlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Sidon Canal image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
3. Sidon Canal
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 169 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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