Interview with Chet and Clea Adams by Joyce McBride on April 4, 2006
Clea A = Clea Adams
CA = Chet Adams
JM = Joyce McBride
Clea A: You helped build the road from Lone Pine across
CA: Oh yeah, I helped. It used to be from Lone Pine up to Linden, I helped Bige Rodgers work for the county at that time for a short time, just one winter I think. And Bige Rogers and I cleared the cedars all off from there from 260 over to Linden Road there. Now it's paved. It's been dirt all the time and now it's paved, which is a blessing.
JM: Yes! (laughs) We like that pavement.
CA: Everybody does.
JM: So tell me about your work with the irrigation. I know that's been like a passion.
CA: Well, like I said, my father was an irrigator all his life and had land and also the Hansens, who had there property in here.
JM: Who dug those original ditches?
CA: It was dug by just a lot of the old timers right here in Show Low, like the Whipple families, McNeils, Hansens. Some in Lakeside helped on it too, as well. Several families of Hansens helped on that. I'm leaving somebody out here. The Owens is another. The Nicholases. There was a bunch of them.
CA: They all worked on it. Willis, Strattons, they all worked on it.
CA: Yeah, Woolfords is another one of them, Joe's family.
JM: What brought everybody together to work on this?
CA: Well, it was the only lifeblood of the country at that time, was farming and ranching. And they had to eat.
Clea: So they used that water for drinking too.
CA: Yeah, they used it for drinking too, as well. It ran in ditches and there wasn't any contamination. You could drink it right out of the irrigation ditches. You had it running down your fields and you could lie down and drink it right out of the ditch. None of us ever died. We all lived through it! But there wasn't any contamination above. Now it's so contaminated you couldn't do that today. It's not clean enough.
JM: It's not; they're not open anymore though are they. Are there . . . ?
CA: Expanding? Not actually, they're not. The company is probably will remain about the same size as it's always been.
Clea: Well, it was an open ditch, but now . . .
CA: Yeah, it was a open ditch but we have put it all, practically, in PVC pipe from clear from the diversion dam down below Show Low Lake on into, well just this side of Fool's Hollow, just about Fool's Hollow, we've got it all the way - through Show Low and all. So it's been a big improvement and a water-saving device as well. And that was the main thing. And today with open ditches, you wouldn't be able to run a ditch open on account of young people, kids being drowned in it and things like this. You have to protect that kind of stuff anymore. And that's the reason we needed the pipeline. What I mean, they're not a waste of water. We have to conserve.
JM: Right, and the vegetation along the way.
CA: And leaks and different things, and just actually your evaporation takes a lot of the water out of the system too as well, both out of the lakes and out of your ditches.
JM: And we've been in a drought for what, ten years now?
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The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee only. They do not represent the views of the Show Low Historical Society Museum. Please contact the Show Low Historical Society Museum with questions about the use and reproduction of this resource.