Crystal Creek Water Ditch: from Past to Present and Future

Author(s): Theo Shaheen-McConnell

Year: 2017


The Crystal Creek Water Ditch, located within Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (NRA) west of Redding, California was built between 1852 and 1859 for the purposes of gold mining and conveying water to the nearby Tower House Hotel which was situated along the historic travel corridor between Shasta and Weaverville during the California Gold Rush. The ditch provided water for the hotel gardens, orchards, and for small-scale gold mining along the creeks. The ditch consists of two sections which total 2.5 miles and include headworks, crossovers, retaining walls, wooden gates, as well as a levy, silt trap, overflow float, power generator, clean-out shed, inverted siphon, storage tank, and down drain. The levy has been continuously utilized as a trail, first by the ditch tenders and later as a hiking trail by the National Park Service. Most components are still present and were working until 2013 when an unanticipated water release damaged large sections of the lower portion of the ditch. This has provided an opportunity to fortify the ditch and rehabilitate deteriorating constituents using period-appropriate construction techniques for increased interpretation and visitor use opportunities.

Cite this Record

Crystal Creek Water Ditch: from Past to Present and Future. Theo Shaheen-McConnell. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430288)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17269