Page 1

Page 5 Berthoud Weekly Surveyor March 27, 2014


Home Supply’s engineering masterpiece undergoes repair A few weeks ago the topic of Tales of the Little Thompson was the Handy and Home Supply dams near the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon. Since that time a 1901 map of the “Reservoirs Under the Big Thompson River and Tributaries” has come into my possession. The Then & Now map accompaSurveyor nies this article Columnist and shows the roughly-parallel course of the Handy and Home Supply ditches. The map also shows the reservoirs that existed in 1901. Many of the reservoir names have Mark changed since French that year. The Home Supply’s “big dam” near the mouth of the Big Thompson Canon is undergoing repairs in preparation for this summer’s irrigation season. This week I plan to visit the dam with Steve Spaur, who farms near Interstate 25 northeast of Berthoud. Spaur’s farm was homesteaded by Laban Skinner in the early 1880s. Fred Bein purchased the farm in 1886 and lived there until 1920 when he retired to the town of Berthoud. On the 1901 map, the Spaur farm is located near the end of the Home Supply ditch. Bill Markham, who is familiar to many readers of this column, operates a large farm south of Spaur.

Markham’s farms also lie under the Home Supply Ditch. These farms are near the junction of Weld County roads 7 and 46, five miles east of Berthoud. The Home Supply’s original log and rock dam was washed away by high water in June 1894. A new dam was built to replace it the following winter. Following its construction, the dam was recognized as an engineering landmark. Next week I will report on the status of the Home Supply dam that was damaged last September and is currently undergoing repairs in order to be functional for the upcoming summer irrigation season. A Sanborn Company photo postcard of “Big Dam from below, Thompson Canon, Colo.” also accompanies this article. Both the Handy and Home Supply dams were subject matter for photo postcards during the early 1900s. In those years, residents of the region made summer excursions to the dam area to enjoy shady groves of trees along the river’s bank and the spray of water splashing over the dams. Since both dams were located along the original road to the Big Thompson Canon, they were popular stopping points for

Turner’s Kelden Cook semifinalist in State Geographic Bee Kelden Cook, a Turner Middle School eighth grader, was notified last week by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2014 Colorado State Geographic Bee. This is the second level of National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 26th year. Geography Bees were held in schools with fourth through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each School’s Bee winner. School-level winners then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National

Photo courtesy of the Mark French

The Home Supply ditch company’s dam near the mouth of the Big Thompson Canon has long been recognized as an engineering landmark. The dam is currently under repair. Iinset: A 1901 map of “Reservoirs Under the Big Thompson River and Tributaries” shows location of the Handy and Home Supply ditches and reservoirs.

travelers who paused to enjoy the roar of the rushing river. Agriculture flourishes in Northern Colorado because irrigation water is diverted from local rivers or, in the case of the Colorado Big Thompson Project, brought here from the Western

Geographic Society, who then invited the students with the top 100 scores in each of the 50 states and associated territories to compete at the state level. The 2014 Colorado State Geographic Bee will be held at the University of Denver on Friday, April 4, 2014. The state winner will receive $100, the “Complete National Geographic on DVD” and a trip to Washington, D.C. to represent Colorado in finals to be held at the National Geographic Society headquarters on May 19-21. The national winner will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the society, as well as an all-expense-paid trip to the Galapagos Islands. The final round will air on the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD on May 22 at 5 p.m.

Praise & Worship

HERITAGE BIBLE CHURCH Sunday 9:30 a.m. at Berthoud High School 850 Spartan Ave. • Berthoud For more information visit our website at

Slope through a tunnel under the Continental Divide. The dams, ditches and reservoirs of the Handy and Home Supply irrigation companies are among the region’s oldest man-made landmarks, dating to the dawn of development of the area in the late 1870s and early

1880s. Many of those dams, ditches and reservoirs pre-date the area’s roads and the formation of towns — such as Berthoud and Johnstown. There will be more on the Home Supply’s “Big Dam” next week.

OBITUARY Peter Eric Van Kleek: 1929-2014 Peter Eric Van Kleek, 85, of Berthoud, died on March 18, 2014, at Broomfield Skilled Facility in Broomfield. He was born in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1929 to John Raymond and Joan (Hill) Van Kleek. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Peter graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., with a degree in Hotel Management. He married Barbara Jane King in June of 1954. Peter worked in Hotel Management early in his career, and later became a founding dean of Hotel Education at Johnson and Wales College in Providence R.I., and at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff Ariz. He retired in 1992. Peter has lived in Berthoud since 1999, moving here from Tucson, Ariz. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Berthoud.

Berthoud Family Church “The Church with a View!”

Online Live Stream of Sunday 10:30 a.m. service and Wednesday 7 p.m. service viewed on: “Faith for Today” TV Program Viewed on Comcast Channel 83, Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. Sunday Worship 10:30 a.m. — Children’s Church 10:30 a.m. — Sunday Prayer 6 p.m. — Wednesday Adults 7 p.m. — Wednesday Children 7 p.m. — Revolution Youth 7 p.m.

Peter enjoyed cooking, woodworking and pottery. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Van Kleek of Berthoud; his three daughters, Laura Leopold (Richard) of Valencia, Calif., Jennifer Van Kleek of Boulder, Colo., and Erica Zimmerman of Boulder, Colo.; his grandchildren, Megan and Shannon Leopold and Noah and Zoey Zimmerman; and his sister Jean Pettigrew of Tryon, N.C. A memorial service will take place at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the First Presbyterian Church in Berthoud. Memorial contributions may be made in Peter’s name to your local public library or to the hospice of your choice. Friends may leave condolences for the family at www.kibbeyfishburn. com.

Guardian Angels Catholic Church 15179 WCR 7, Mead • 970-535-0721 Masses Sunday, 7:30 am, 9 am, 10:30 am Monday, 5:30 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 am Friday 8:30 am Saturday Mass 5:30 pm Saturday Confession 4 - 5:15 pm


STUDENT OF THE WEEK BERTHOUD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Pictured are the Trimester 2 student council members standing around all the food they collected during their food drive in February. They were able to collect and donate close to 500 pounds of food that was given to the Grace Place Food Bank.

Berthoud Family Physicians 401 10th St., Berthoud, Colo. To schedule an appointment call (970) 532-4910

Bws 2014 3 27 a 005  

Berthoud Weekly Surveyor, history, mark french