11 Apr 2012

Reconstruction of Historic Site in Montrose County Begins

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Courtesy of KREX TV Channel 5

MONTROSE COUNTY, Colo.- The cliffs of the Dolores River are home to the 13-mile long hanging flume, a historic site that, starting on Wednesday, will undergo reconstruction.

During the renovation, which will last about five days, construction crews will rappel down the mountain to ensure they conserve every aspect of the momentous flume.

Currently, no one knows exactly how the flume was built, but by attempting to authenticate the construction, crews will hopefully be able to solve some of the mysteries behind the notable site. “What we plan to get out of this process is to see how long it took them because they are going to authenticate what they did,” said Chris Miller, executive director of the Western Colorado Interpretative Association.

Officials added they do, however, know that it took 25 men to build the flume, which was used to carry water to the hydraulic mining operations of the Montrose Placer Mining Company for three years. “Then it kind of went in decline and basically, over the last 100 (years), people have used the wood to salvage at their farms or local areas,” said Miller.

Now, after ten years in the making and plenty of archeological assessments, the Western Colorado Interpretative Association will reconstruct 48 feet of the flume and turn it into a site for all to see. Once completed, the flume, which in 2006 made the World Monument Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites, will be visible from Highway 141 in Montrose County.

For more information on the historic site, or how you can see the construction crew at work, www.hangingflume.org .