Gunnison Tunnel 100th year celebration

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Morph your Aspen viewing this weekend into a trip over to Montrose for the shindig. Here’s a report from Nancy Lofholm writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

The 6-mile-long Gunnison Tunnel — invisible and sometimes forgotten by today’s residents — was built to bring water from the Gunnison River to the fertile but mostly arid Uncompahgre Valley. It turned farmland that had inadequate water into one of the state’s prime agriculture areas…

The tunnel will get its due during a monumental birthday bash. Saturday, bells will clang from Montrose to Delta in an echo of the bells that pealed across the valley when the first water came rushing through the tunnel and filling a canal system on Sep. 23, 1909. There will be a parade, fireworks, games, picnics and a re-enactment of President William Howard Taft “speechifying” and pressing the golden button that opened the tunnel. “It’s a tremendously impressive project,” said Western State College history professor Duane Vandenbusche, who has included two chapters about the tunnel in a newly published book about the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

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