years later, Thomas Judd and Thomas P. Cottam had a survey made and
started work on a canal. In June 1889 the La Verkin Fruit and Nursery
Company was incorporated with a capital stock of $25,000.00. Its objectives
were to establish nursery orchards and vineyards, to manufacture wine
and liquor, and to promote fruit raising, stock raising, and general
Work on the canal
and tunnel was most difficult; a major part of the canal was made through
the solid rock limestone of the precipitous cliff wall, other portions
through talus slides that had broken off the limestone ledges above.
A tunnel through the Kaibab limestone escarpment east of the bench was
eight hundred feet in length. It was worked on from both sides, and
when the two crews met, the sections fitted together almost perfectly.
A row of lighted candles from each end was used as a mark to keep the
lines straight as the men on both sides of the ridge drove toward the
center. They built a dam two miles up the river from the place where
the tunnel penetrated the mountain. Water was turned into the ditch
in April 1891.
Leaks in the
canal where it coursed through gypsum formations plagued the project.
When cement became available, the worst of the leaking places in the
canal were cemented, and the canal gave less trouble.