In 1902, William Rist and John McNabb filed on a site to construct a storage facility at Cameron Pass Reservoir (renamed Joe Wright Reservoir in 1915 after the creek that it dams at the top of Cameron Pass). This reservoir would connect to the Michigan Ditch, a snow ditch at the top of Cameron Pass, which the men were also constructing. The men then sold the reservoir to Francis C. Grable in 1904 or 1905. Grable became president of Mountain Supply Ditch Company, which filed a formal request with the Department of Agriculture in 1905 to build the reservoir. The company hired Rist and McNabb to construct the reservoir between 1905 and 1908.

On September 23, 1908, Mountain Supply sold Joe Wright Reservoir and Michigan Ditch to the North Poudre Irrigation Company. Later that year, the North Poudre awarded Odell Brothers a contract to enlarge and repair the dam at Joe Wright Reservoir. North Poudre Irrigation Company operated the dam and reservoir until 1971, when it sold the site to the City of Fort Collins. In 1977, the city awarded Green Construction Company a contract to design a new dam and increase the reservoir’s storage capacity from 800 acre feet to 7,200 acre feet. This project was completed in 1980. Also added were new recreational facilities to meet Forest Service requirements, with a provision added to maintain at least 600 acre feet in reservoir at all times for fish survival.


-Stanley R. Case, The Poudre: A Photo History. Bellvue, CO: Stanley R. Case, 1995. pp. 236-241.

-Howard Ensign Evans and Mary Alice Evans. Cache La Poudre: The Natural History of a Rocky Mountain River. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1991. pp. 205.