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How Do You Use Water?

You can think of a few uses, right? But here are some ways people used water in the past that you might not have thought of.

historical photo

Brigham Young's grist mill on the corner of North Temple and State Street, SLC. The water turned the big wheel, which turned millstones to grind grain.


Mills powered by creeks sawed lumber, ground grain, and produced sorghum—giving settlers housing and food.

The first group of settlers in Parowan brought the makings of a sawmill with them and put it on Center Creek in 1851.

historical photo

The Granite hydroelectric power plant in Big Cottonwood Canyon in 1907.


People in Iron County built hydroelectric plants on Center Creek and Coal Creek, and were getting electricity from water power by 1906.

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historical photo

Men carrying ice blocks with tongs. This picture came from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper in the 1800s.


Harry Hunter of Cedar City was an “ice man.” He built a pond near Coal Creek. He would flood the pond with water near the creek and in the winter would cut big ice blocks, using a sharp plow pulled by horses to groove the ice. He would then split the ice into blocks.

He stored the blocks in his barn, covered with sawdust. In the summer, he would deliver the ice to houses using a wagon.