Company stockholders entered upon land under the Desert Land Act, revised
in 1891 to allow up to 320 acres providing that eighty of those were
brought under irritation within a three-year period. They understood
that a diversion dam, reservoir, and delivery canals were essential
to accomplish this. Work was commenced in 1907 at a dam site town hundred
yards upstream from where the recently rebuilt San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City Railroad crossed the Sevier River, some four miles
north of Burtner. Many stockholders paid for portions of their company
shares through labor on the earthen-filled dam, primarily constructed
with horse team-drawn slip scrapers. Some water was delivered to project
lands late in the summer of 1908, but on 14 June 1909 the dam and spillway
washed out, leaving a newly planted crop with little chance to mature.
Work immediately commenced on rebuilding a pile-plank reinforced dam,
which was completed that August.