By Marge Becraft
Ever wonder why Roy Front Runner Station has giant shovels among the trees and flowering shrubs?
In 1873, water was first brought in a wagon by Williams Evans Baker, Roy’s first settler, from Muskrat Springs (Hooper) because there was no water source in the area. He spent six months in Muskrat Springs and then six months in the area which would become Roy. Soon, other relatives joined him.
If the settlers of Roy were ever going to grow anything, they had to have a source of water. The farmers in the area knew of springs of water up Weber Canyon, 16 miles away. That was the answer to their dilemma! Papers were drawn up and the farmers began in 1881 to build the canal.
Early in 1881, construction work began at the mouth of Weber Canyon. Work on the canal was a family affair. The townspeople brought shovels, wheelbarrows, teams, and scrapers to work.
Sections were assigned to each farmer. All families participated. Women gathered rocks in their aprons to throw aside, and the children cleared the brush and supplied drinking water to the workers.
Water was turned into the flume they built on June 7, 1883, under the name of the Davis and Weber County Canal Company. The canal was finally completed so the barren sandy wastes of “Sandridge” became productive.
The canal runs along by 5600 S. by the entrance to HAFB. If you have a chance, stop by the Front Runner Station and read the inscription on the shovels that tell where it all began!


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