At the request of a friend, im reposting a post I made to the Albuquerque Urban Exploring blog (abq_urbex)

I plan to continue the hunt and I will of course post more photos.

So as of my last posting about the seemingly boring subject of hunting for the the Barelas Acequia/Creek/Ditch, and any possible tunnels that may be involved, I have come across some new information, so I'm going to try and post it here.

I finished up reading the book 'Martinez Town 1823-1950' Joseph Sánchez & Larry Miller, It's a bit of a dry read, but I also learned lots. Especially about the 'Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District' http://www.mrgcd.com, who for the most part has been at work in this town since the 1920's buying land, swapping land, digging ditches, maintaining the irrigation canals(acequias), I had already started my research finding old Sandburn insurance maps, looking up various online GIS sites (the city's GIS maps site use to show drainage systems, but unfortunately they now reserve that data to a need to know basis. I followed the wacky property lines in google earth and got a pretty good idea of where the ditch ran. But then the other day I noticed google maps on my phone still shows the 1950/1960's path of the ditch before it sections of it were buried, and later abandoned. Sections of the southern part of the ditch still exist to channel away rainwater, although none of that ditch south of Candelaria looks like its designed to irrigate fields anymore. Its crazy to think of this long ditch(really its longer than Albuquerque is today from noth to south!), was originally all dug by hand.

I say its unfortunate that I started looking/hunting/finding the ditch before I finished the book, Just because end note #2 pretty much exactly lays it out, and I probably could have saved time looking it all up, but I don't really regret it because its still interesting to piece it all back together.

Browser based google maps, shows it but only as a blue line, and its a later path not going through downtown, no name on the ditch, but if one wanted to find where its under ground, one can easily flip back and forth between "satellite" and map mode. and it did verify pretty conclusively that many of the odd property boundries i found were really the path of it.

Barelas ditch started out as a extension of the Acequia de los Candelarias y Greagos, and there were various splits and such, but it pretty much bounces back forth along Edith, eventually to down between Edith and broadway, and from up north of where the town ends now, (Sandia reservation land) and then about lomas, it kinda wandered over along broadway until it cuts over to 1st street and Tijeras, over to Copper and 2nd, under the Hilton*, and across Central, Lead and Coal, in the middle of the 200 block, it eventually heads south some of it can be seen, at South San Jose park, and then south of that it turns into a big V ditch. Eventually it turns back into its traditional form of a low wall dirt ditch with culverts and bridges, (it can be seen driving to the Sunport Rail runner station/Rio Bravo), its now choaked with weeds and filled with tumbleweeds. and the land around it is nolonger farmland.

DSC_7796 DSC_7789 DSC_7798 DSC_7782 DSC_7768 DSC_7836

Im not sure all of the above shots are the origional course of the ditch, but they are all connected, and posted in southern linear order, I expect to revist this subject, and some of it may involve modern day drain exploring/spelunking.

Views: 144

Tags: Acequia, Albuquerque, Barelas, URBEX, ditches, farming, history

Comment by ABQrising on March 10, 2009 at 9:19pm
Cool.
Comment by Phil_0 on March 10, 2009 at 10:20pm
very cool post. thanks for the research!
Comment by RivetGang on March 11, 2009 at 8:51am


Portions of the Barelas Ditch do show up on the City GIS system.
Comment by killbox on March 11, 2009 at 1:14pm
Yah, its pretty easy to follow once you get past the freeway, although through most of Martinez town its nolonger a ditch.

The Gis map show it south of Marble? (in the Tijeras /central area?
Comment by FitzerMan on March 11, 2009 at 1:47pm
Very cool, killbox. I await the results of your search with great anticipation.
Comment by RivetGang on March 11, 2009 at 2:12pm


It does show a bit past mountain to lomas... even though the "official" blue lines are erratic, you can kinda tell from the parcel platting where it once flowed.
Comment by JMG on March 11, 2009 at 10:27pm
Let's hope Senate Bill 222 passes so we can continue to hike the ditches we have!
Comment by Barelas Babe on March 13, 2009 at 11:04am
Does anyone know if this ditch eventually ends up in the neighborhood of Barelas itself?
Comment by killbox on March 13, 2009 at 4:39pm
Barelas Babe, i can give you several answers, depending on when in history you are talking about, i will post more about it this weekend. may even be able to include some extracted bits of historical maps.
Comment by killbox on March 13, 2009 at 9:21pm
Barelas Babe, still more to extract later, but the google maps topo map shows the course of it as if it still all existed, probably in the roughly 1930-1940 version,
This link should open with the blue line going down the middle of t...

more yet to come...

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