I have to admit to not remembering Page’s first water treatment plant being at the bottom of the canyon. When Gene LeGate gave me the first bunch of USBR photos for the blog and I saw these water treatment pics, I was dazed and confused because I could only remember the water treatment plant in town and those photos were completely different. After some research, I surmised that it sat downstream of the dam on the Page side of the canyon. Can’t fool me! What sealed it for me (sort of) was the first photo I’m sharing below that Tim McDaniels gave me that shows the road to it coming out of what must be one of the adits in the canyon wall that now serves as one of the ventilation tunnels for the tunnel that runs from the top of the canyon and to the lower spillway. If that’s incorrect, please let me know. I can take it. I’m still not 100% convinced because some of the background stuff in these pictures doesn’t look right. More on that as we move through them.
This first picture is a shot from above showing the layout of the area. This is the one Tim sent me that pretty much clinched the location. Notice the water line coming over the side of the canyon. That’s the line that brought water to the fledgling town of Page. It’s referenced in another picture below. Notice also the road disappearing into the canyon wall. The handwritten caption on the back reads, “J. Reinhold. 1st water treatment plant for Page.”
Here’s another top down view from a different, closer angle. In this shot, the facility is still under construction. The rectangle building was an electrical switchgear and maybe a pump room. The handwritten back caption reads, “Water pumps and sedimentary tank on river below Page.”
The photo below is a good angle for getting the perspective of the location and the size of the project, since there are people in it. I don’t have any other info on this one.
Here’s another close up of some of the work. This is the building that housed the electrical switchgear and and possibly some pump equipment. I tend to think it was all electrical switchgear in this building. If I was doing this, I would want to keep those two things separate. The back caption reads, “Water pumps and etc on river.”
Here’s another wide angle look at the site under construction. The white line is the water line I referenced in the top photo. You can see from the terrain why I questioned where this was initially, and still kind of do. There must have been considerably more excavation of that area than I was aware of. This almost looks like a different area, but not according to the comments written on the back of the picture which read, “Water line being put down in canyon to water works.”
These last couple are more close ups of the construction site. The caption on this one reads, “Pumps for water at river.”
This next one is captioned, “Water plant.” It’s a view from below the platform in the previous picture.
This last closeup reads, “Man on wall at water works I think.”
And finally, I leave you with one more aerial view. Thirsty? Got water?
4 thoughts on “The Lower Water Treatment Plant”
You are correct on the location. If I remember correctly the road to it was called the John Wayne trail. Someone was killed (Mon Croft?) trying to get to it during a heavy rain. I’m sure Mona Legate would remember .
Mike, you got it right. You can still see a faint outline of parts of the roadway on the slopes below the adit. Yes, Maughn Crofts was killed at the water plant in the fall of 1964. Page had a cloudburst that day, just before school let out. It is estimated that it rained over 3″ in about 30 minutes. One of the waterfalls that formed was directly above the water plant and it is supposed that he was hit by the wall of falling water. He had 2 children, MonaLaine and Kent. Maybe one of them would be willing to comment on it.
I haven’t researched your site all the way through, but this rainstorm would make another good post for you. The rain washed out the highway on both ends of town, and we were isolated for about a day. Several places were flooded, included a low spot on North Navajo where there is a low spot. It is near Dr. Kazan’s home. I don’t remember if it was his home or adjacent homes that were flooded. Right after the rainstorm, Royce took someone up in a plane to survey the damage, and got a good photo display of the rain. It was a typical Page rain. Most of the surrounding area was still dry.
Maybe one of your old Signals or Chronicles has something on it.
Your site is an exciting find.
Hey Mike! It’s good to hear from you. We had some bad rainstorms in those early days it seems. I remember being in Page Market with my mom in the early 60s in one of those storms and water started coming in the top of the wall that separated Page Market from the Post Office. Not good. I remember we got out of there and made a mad dash for the car.
Interesting pictures. I am Ken Jones, Mona Laine’s son and Maughan Crofts’ grandson. I’ll forward the link to this page to my parents and Uncle Kent. Thanks for sharing the pictures!