Hurricane in Washington County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The Historic Hurricane Canal
Upriver, the little towns suffered from the flash floods of the wild Virgin River that devoured half their farmland. The men were desperate. More cultivated land was needed to support their growing families. In the fall of 1893, James Jepson of Virgin and John Steele of Toquierville envisioned and promoted the plan for the water to be brought to the “Hurricane Bench.” With a simple carpenter’s spirit level, they figured a feasible route, and men were recruited from neighboring towns. Isaac McFarlane, county surveyor, surveyed and estimated the construction cost at $53,000. The only tools available were picks, shovels, crowbars, and a homemade wheelbarrow. Over 100 hopeful me worked on the canal project the first few winters.
By 1902, long after the expected completion date, only eight to ten men were left working. Many of the men had sold their stock and quit. Expensive portions remained
Two years later, August 6, 1904, the impossible dream came true as water flowed onto the Hurricane Bench from the canal, giving life to 2,000 acres of fertile land. The valley could now be settled. After twelve years of sacrifice, incredibly hard work, and true grit, a community was born, complete with real heroes.
The vision of two men, James Jepson and John Sttele, along with the faith, dedication, and tenacity of many others, changed forever the lives and dreams of thousands of people in Utah’s Dixie. They did all this for their families. And they did it for us. We give thanks to these men of valor.
Erected by Hurricane Valley Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. (Marker Number 101B.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Sons of Utah Pioneers marker series.
Location. 37° 10.989′ N, 113° 16.701′ W. Marker is in Hurricane, Utah, in Washington County. Marker can be Touch for map. Marker is at the Hurricane Rim Trailhead. Marker is in this post office area: Hurricane UT 84737, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Historic Dixie-Long Valley, Utah Pioneer Trail (here, next to this marker); Convict Camp and Wagon Road (approx. 0.3 miles away); Pioneer Bowery (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named The Historic Hurricane Canal (approx. 0.3 miles away); Birth of Hurricane (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hurricane Canal (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hurricane/LaVerkin Bridge (approx. half a mile away); Many Came by Handcart (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hurricane.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 20, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 20, 2014, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.