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Featured Photo

Get lost, frost

The first in a series of throwback photos to honor Denver Water’s 100th anniversary shows off ground-thawing operations in 1896.
Because their shovels could only do so much, crews had to burn the ground to defrost it before they could dig down to build the foundation of a cabin at Lake Cheesman in 1896.


This year, Denver Water is celebrating its 100th anniversary — a milestone that will usher in a new century of innovation, foresight and commitment to you, our customers.

We’ve seen and done a lot in the last century, much of which has been captured in photographs. So, throughout the year, we will hand-pick a series of historical photos that help share different parts of Denver Water’s storied history.

This month, we’re taking you back to 1896 — a time before Denver Water even existed. It was a chilly winter day at Lake Cheesman (what would later become Cheesman Reservoir) and crews were working on the foundation of a log cabin that would become the construction headquarters for the Cheesman Dam project.

Because of the frigid temperatures, workers had to burn the rock-hard ground to thaw it before digging down with shovels. Such was life before modern equipment came into the picture to lend a hand.

Cheesman Dam was completed in 1905 and purchased by Denver Water in 1918, the year Denver Water was born.