Sandstone Wall & Aquaduct
Parley’s Creek, originally known by the Indian name Obit-Ki-Ke-Che Creek, was the largest stream of water which flowed from the Wasatch Mountains into the valley. This creek had beginning high in the Wasatch Mountains to the north near what became known as Pratt’s Pass, near Lookout Peak. It ran through the pass near Little Mountain Summit and over into Parley’s Canyon where it was joined by other streams on its journey into the valley. From its entrance into the valley the water coursed its way northwest until it finally joined the Jordan River near Fifth South Street on its way to Great Salt Lake.
With the growth area west and north of the mouth of Parley’s Canyon, it became apparent that a way had to be found to carry the water to those needing it. Ditches were dug which were fine for those living in the bottom lands of the hollow, but it was soon determined that its walls were to be built with a conduit running along its top, like those done by the ancient Romas but on a much smaller scale, water could be lifted up to the plateaus on the north and south sides of the hollow. A water commission was formed of property owners in the bottoms as well as on the north and south plateau areas to determine how this was to be done as well as to see that the water was fairly distributed.
The walls were built of sandstone blocks from the canyon and were constructed with the channel on the top to convey the water as needed. The reservoir was built in 1891 and the walls shortly after. Only a relatively small segment remains. It is still a handsome piece of masonry, forty feet high where it cut across a ravine and an arch was laid up to allow for the water draining through the ravine to be unhampered in its course to Parley’s Creek. Early photographs show lombardy poplars had been planted along the route, at least along the segment still extant.
This section of the north wall is all that remains of either wall. The rocks were either abandoned in place or lifted out and used for construction of other buildings or left on the valley floor. The water needs were provided for in the construction of the Mountain Dell Reservoir five miles up the canyon in 1915.