This is not an ordinary cane! In 1901, C. Mead Hammond from Paonia was an elected Representative to the Colorado House of Representatives. He was the sole sponsor of House Bill 195, titled: “State Canal No. 3”, which was the legislation to build the Gunnison Tunnel, a massive 6 mile irrigation tunnel which would bring water from the Gunnison River to the Uncompahgre Valley for the irrigation of over 100,000 acres of arid farmland. The bill was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor on April 11. 1901. Following this event, Mead Hammond was presented a cane with an inscription which read: “Present to Hon. C. M. Hammond by his friends in Delta County, HB-195”. A descendant of the Mead Hammond family donated the cane to the museum in 1983, and it is one of the most historic artifacts in our collection.
Mean Hammond never saw the completion of the tunnel project, as he died in 1903.
Director, Delta County Historical Society and Museum