Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Blacksmith

Date Placed: September 30, 2010
Letterbox: Traditional
Carver: GreenJello
Planters: GreenJello and Teancum
Location: Lahontan State Park - Churchill Beach, Highway 50, Fallon, Churchill, Nevada
Status: Active

In 1902, the Newlands Reclamation Act was passed that provided funding for irrigation products for the arid lands of 17 states in the American West. The act set aside money from sales of semi-arid public lands for the construction and maintenance of irrigation projects. The newly irrigated land would be sold and money would be put into a revolving fund that supported more such projects. This led to the eventual damming of nearly every major western river.

Much of the West could not have been settled without the water provided by the Act. With all the newly available water to irrigate, the West became one of the premier agricultural areas in the world. Bureau of Reclamation statistics show that more than 600 of their dams on waterways throughout the West provide irrigation for 10 million acres (40,000 km²) of farmland, providing 60% of the nation's vegetables and 25% of its fruits and nuts.

My great-great-grandfather, John William Small, was a skilled blacksmith who came out west to work on the Lahontan Dam project in Churchill County, Nevada. His legacy of work is still functional over 100 years later, providing essential irrigation water for the fertile farmlands in Fallon, Nevada, and the surrounding areas.

Directions: On Highway 50 east of Fallon, there will be a "split", with one way leading to Fernley (Alt. 50) and the other towards Carson City (Hwy. 50). Head towards Carson City/Silver Springs about 7 miles from the junction, until you see the brown sign pointing to "Lahontan State Park - Churchill Beach" and turn left. (If you're coming from Carson City, just watch for the same sign, except turn right.) Take the first parking pullout to your right, just after you cross the bridge. From here, you can see the dam off in the distance to the west.

Starting in the southwest corner of the perimeter of wooden posts, spy the old rusty pipe. Count 3 fenceposts to the south of this pipe. To the right of the third post is a large sagebrush. At the base of this sage, under old vegetation/tumbleweeds and rocks, is The Blacksmith. Please rehide VERY well with the rocks first, and then tumbleweeds on top of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment