the fall of 1882, Thomas Blythe was present for the
final blasting of a cut in a point jutting into the
Colorado River. The river back then was 5 miles wide
during the spring floods. The cut was the new diversion
intake for his proposed land development and
colonization plan. With him was 28-year-old Englishman
George Irish, who had been appointed by Blythe to be
manager of the project.
Blythe, in his 60th year already had spent $82,000 on an
undertaking to clear and irrigate a wilderness of 40,000
acres, including a 40-acre experimental farm. The
development scheme, on the west banks of the Colorado
less than 90 miles north of Fort Yuma, was Blythe’s
dream of an “Empire on the Colorado”.