Crystal Dam has provided the City of Cheyenne with dependable drinking water and recreation opportunities for 105 years.
On August 5th, 1910, the newspapers announced that Crystal Dam would be completed the following day at which time the City of Cheyenne would it take over.
Timing could not have been better. The summer of 1910 was a scorcher, with high temps, very little moisture and low snow melt from a dry winter. Water was running low and the quality was barely tolerable.
The City had had enough foresight to build the Granite Reservoir and Round Top water treatment plant only a few years earlier, which helped ease some of the drought, but many were still worried. The hope was that the water issue would be solved for the time being with this new addition to the infrastructure.
30 inch and 20 inch pipes laid at this same time between the upper and lower Crow Creeks, Granite Reservoir, the new Crystal Reservoir and Cheyenne carried water to the town and Fort Russell (now Warren Air Force Base.)
In an effort to protect the water supply from contaminants, the dry reservoir bed was cleared of debris and plant material burned prior to water being added. Several railroad cars of charcoal were also laid in “purification” beds and dams between Granite and Crystal reservoirs and below Crystal Dam to further remove contaminants before the water entered the City’s pipes.