Tucked away in the hills lays small remnants of San Diego's most historic flume. Built in 1888, the flume was used to transport water on a 37-mile stretch from Lake Cuyamaca to La Mesa. Before then, the only source of water were wells. The flume required almost 9 million board feet of redwood in order to be built and over 800 mules and horses to transport it. The flume was made up of 8 tunnels and 315 trestles and was said to be one of the biggest attractions of its time. It stood 1774 ft. in length and 56 ft. high. Today, only two of the tunnels are accessible.
February 22, 1889: San Diego celebrates opening of the San Diego Flume.
Many men were hired during the construction of the flume including "flume walkers" whose job was to search for leaks. During the gold rush, population rose quickly in San Diego as the promise of striking rich was high. With the rise of people also came the rise of water needs. Theodore S. Van Dyke, the designer of the Flume, also included several dams in his project to help preserve the water. The first dam was at Lake Cuyamaca which was completed in 1887. The next dam built was the Diverting Dam at the confluence of the San Diego River with Boulder Creek.
The opening day of the flume brought out many of San Diego's most prominent people including the Governor, R.W. Waterman. Together these men rode down the flume in a flat-bottomed boat.
Anza Borrego Desert
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