The Standley reservoir is the most remarkable
irrigation enterprise in the world.The great
earthwork dam that faces it rises to a height
of 113 feet. When all the "trimmings" are put
in upon it the total will be 140 feet. to
build the reservoir 3,000,000 cubic yards of
earth were excavated with the steam shovel.
Two irrigation dams recently constructed
in India exceed the Standley reservoir in
yardage but not in height. It is actually the
biggest earth dam in the world. The capacity
of the reservoir is 100,000 acre feet of
Since March 17, when the
company, with a $2,000,000 backing from the
Franco-American bank of Paris, took up the
temporarily abandoned work to finish it,
time has been made with the excavation. J. E.
Hays, chief Engineer of the Denver Reservoir
and Irrigation, whose enterprise it was, has
had general supervsion.
"If the excavating on the Panama canal had
been done with the same speed that the
reservoir was done" Mr. Hays said today,
"the Panama canal would now be finished. The
contract of the Kenefick company required
that the entire construction be finished by
October 1. Under Robert Russell, the
contractor, 60,000 cubic yards of dirt were
moved with the equipment of a Marion shovel
with a two and a half yard dipper and two
locomotives with ten cars each, in
twenty-four hour days. This average was
kept up for three months. I understand that
the greatest amount of dirt moved in a month
on the Panama canal was 30,000 cubic yards.
On April 28 last we moved 244 cars of dirt,
each car containing about fourteen cubic
yards. This is the greatest amount of dirt
ever moved in a single day. The dam is now
finished. All canals, embankments and
laterals will be finished in sixty days."
HAD UNCERTAIN HISTORY
The site of the Standley reservoir,
originally owned by John Kinnear, came into
the hands of Joseph Standley several years
ago. In 1902 Standley with Thomas B. Croke
and Milton Smith, organized the Farmers'
Reservoir and Irrigation company, a stock
company in which the farmers who bought water
rights were to be stockholders. The Standley
dam was planned by them, but nothing was done
until 1906, when E. A. Nereshreimer of New
York, representing the American Development
and Irrigation company, became interested in
the enterprise and succeeded in interesting
J. J. White Co., construction engineers.
A company incorporated for $12,000,000 and
called the Denver Reservoir and Irrigation
company was then formed and the contract for
the construction was awarded to the J. J.
White company. Work was started early in
1908, but it lagged, and finally J. J. White
& Co withdrew. The contract was then given to
the Kenefick-Quigley-Russell Construction
company and work began in January, 1909. June
6 the Denver Reservoir and Irrigation went
into the hands of a receiver, Arthur Day.
Last fall the Franco-American bank of Paris
undertook to complete the dam for $2,000,000
and a contract was awarded to the Kenefick
company for that amount.
GREAT DRAINAGE AREA
Water for the Standley reservoir is obtained
chiefly from Clear creek through Croke creek,
which takes out just below Golden. This inlet
is eighteen miles long and has a capacity of
900 second-feet. Water is also obtained from
Coal creek and other creeks. From Standley
lake the water is conveyed by canal to the
Platte river at a point near riverside
cemetery. From there it is conveyed by the
Burlington and O'Brian canals into Barr lake
and into the Henrylyn canal just south of
lake. From Barr lake the water is distributed
by the Brighton lateral, the Speer, the Beebe,
the Neres, the Platte Valley and Gilmore
canals to lands east of the Platte river near
Brighton, Lupton, LaSalle and Plattville. The
northern end of the system is six miles from
Greeley. To the lands west of the Platte the
water is conveyed through the Bull canal as
far west as Erie and as far north as
Plattville. A subsidiary system is the
Marshall lake system which obtains water from
South Boulder creek near Eldorado Springs.,
conveys it to Marshall lake and through the
Community canal to Burns Junction.
Of the land under the Standley system
100,000 acres are now under water. During the
last spring 10,000 acre-feet was taken out of
that stored in the reservoir.
This is an article from 'The Daily
Journal'. Guess date to be 1911, the year it
was dedicated. Other articles in copy show a
date of June 29.
Joseph A. Willier worked as a clerk for the Kenefick-Quigley-Russell Construction company in 1911.