The Hanging Flume once carried 23 million gallons of water a day to a placer mining operation on Mesa Creek Flats between Gateway and Uravan, along what is now Hwy 141. It took three years to build, starting in 1889, and only functioned for three more years, when eastern investors gave up on the fine alluvial gold, and the flume, an engineering marvel for that (or any other) time, was left to history.
Flume expert Jerald Reid will try to the put the historical pieces together Tuesday night Jan. 24 (at 7 p.m.) with a talk and slide show at the KAFM Radio Room in Grand Junction.
Reid was born in Oklahoma and lived most of his life on the Western Slope. He was a machinist for 40 years in the Grand Valley. He and his wife Margaret, both outdoor enthusiasts, became interested in the Hanging Flume but found frustratingly little information about it. That started them researching and documenting it.
They joined the Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway Council around 1990. Through their research and with grants acquired through the Byway Council they were instrumental in getting the Hanging Flume placed on the World Monuments Watch List of the 100 most Endangered Places. Reconstruction of parts of the flume, along with interpretive materials has been ongoing since 2003.
Reid has been giving slide shows and lectures about the Hanging Flume to a variety of organizations for the past 15 years.
In addition to KAFM, collaborating partners for the Jan. 24 evening include the Unaweep/Tabeguache Scenic and Historic Byway Committee, the Museum of Western Colorado, and Colorado Environmental Coalition via their FOND program.
For more info about this family friendly weekend and to RSVP contact Kate Graham at 970/243-0002 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations can also be made by calling KAFM at 970/241-8801 or visit kafmradio.org.