Submitted by A.E. Simpson
There is a big scheme being talked of at the present time that has interested a lot of people who have always regretted that a city so magnificently located as Cranbrook is has no close facilities for boating and bathing.
Just west of the city there is Elizabeth Lake which is a large swampy slough that is surrounded by hills in such a manner that it makes as natural reservoir, providing that a little work is done on a few of the outlets. Many people have looked at this flat and remarked on the geographical conditions, saying that it should be turned into a beautiful lake for the benefit of the people of Cranbrook. Presently this wasted area is only benefiting several ducks and a few turtles. The great difficulty has been the lack of sufficient water to give the lake a respectable start. There is a small creek flowing in from Jim Smith Lake that would keep the water in splendid condition after the lake was once formed, but not large enough to create the original lake.
Building areas around the lake can be purchased at prices worth considering, and a proposition has been made to furnish the water by drawing on the waters of Upper Moyie Lake. The distance from the swamp to the head of Moyie Lake is about 17.71 km and the altitude of the lake is 913.49 m, while the altitude of Cranbrook is 903.43 m, just 10.06 m lower. The plan is to lay a 15 cm pipe from the head of Moyie Lake to Elizabeth Lake just west of Cranbrook, and thus form a siphon, larger than any that has been built in the world. Just east of the apex, which would be near Rhoda Siding, a connecting standpipe would he erected, and the end of the long pipe at Cranbrook be plugged. The pipe running from the apex to Cranbrook would be filled with water, and this could be secured from the pipe that used to furnish the East Kootenay Mill. It is a scientific fact that with the lower portion of the pipe filled with water and then the top of the stand pipe plugged, and the Cranbrook end of the long pipe opened, the flow of water would draw the water from the Moyie end of the pipe and start in action a natural siphon that would continue to flow until the marshy slough at Cranbrook would be filled, and Cranbrook would finally have a decent lake.
There could be no serious objections on the Part of the people of Moyie, as the taking of the water from the upper Moyie Lake would only lower the southern portion for a short time. Then the water in the upper lake is not the property of any individual or corporation, and can be taken by Cranbrook as well as not. The cost of the pipe at $5.76 cents per metre for 17,710 metres would be $102,009.60 and the cost of laying not over $100,000 more. The pipe-could be left position, and whenever the new Elizabeth Lake got low, as it might in July and August, the reserve in the upper Moyie Lake could be drawn on at will.
This scheme will give to Cranbrook a fine summer resort, and could mean the formation of boat clubs with handsome clubhouses and summer homes along the lake shore, the buying of boats and canoes, and giving an opportunity for a grand annual aquatic carnival in this city. Furthermore, the new Elizabeth Lake could be stocked with fish and within a year or two be transformed into a regular piscatorial paradise. We trust that the proposition will have the full support of the citizens of Cranbrook and a syndicate formed to handle the matter in a business like manner.