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The Sale of Fish Lake Water, 1889

historical photo

Tom (as the Anglo settlers called him) was a Paiute who was over 100 years old in this picture. His name is on the deed selling Fish Lake water to the Fremont Irrigation Company.

In 1889, farmers in Wayne County banded together to form a new irrigation company--the Fremont Irrigation Company. They wanted to work together to build reservoirs and canals to get water on their land.

But they needed to own the water. In order to make sure they would have no trouble using the water from Fish Lake, they bought the "outlet" of the lake from some American Indians. Paiutes and Utes had for generations fished in the lake and hunted in the area around it.

Only eight Indians signed the agreement, so we don't know what others thought about it. Through the agreement, they kept their rights to fish in the lake, but that didn't last long. Soon enough, both Utes and Paiutes would be forced to live on reservations.

See the "Artickels of Agreement" in which the Indians agreed to sell their rights to the water.

See receipts of money and horses the irrigation company committee received from farmers to help pay for the water.