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Mormon Reservoir

 The Mormon Reservoir is located on Hay gulch stream before it flows into La Plata River. In the late 1920's the Mormon Church in Utah paid to have the damn across Hay Gulch constructed for the Mormon village of Red Mesa. Water is stored in the reservoir until it is needed for farmers at Red Mesa. The water is released into the La Plata River and is measured for agricultural purposes during the drier part of the summer. Young men from Red Mesa built frame buildings
    on the rocky and wooded west hillside going into Hay Gulch. Until the damn was completed the workers stayed in these dwellings. All of the work on the earthen damn was done by hand and horse drawn equipment. Dynamite was used to blast
boulders used on the damn to hold the water in place until needed. The impounded water becomes undrinkable by early summer when it has a strong odor. Water dogs (salamanders) and tadpoles become prolific as the summer advances. On hot summer days the water is very refreshing for swimmers. In Luther Butler's novel, Homesteaders and Sheepherders, details of the reservoir are given Says Luther Butler



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