Dale Sprout, a WWII veteran, won a Tulelake Homestead in 1947. He brought his young family to Tulelake, in the Klamath Basin, to farm his 80-acre field to grow food for a hungry nation. There were no roads, no electricity, no running water; they were given an old barracks, cot, and barrel of nails by the United States Government to build their home and farm.
There were 20 feet of water on their farm before the Klamath Reclamation Project was built. The Project took water off his land and put it into canals and ditches, wildlife refuges and the Klamath River. Since Tule Lake was in a closed basin, there was previously no way for water to escape. So Reclamation blasted a tunnel through Sheepy Ridge. Irrigators pump this excess water uphill at their own expense, through the tunnel, and it ends up in the Klamath River to create power.
In exchange for this water diverted into the river, the Sprouts were given a permanent water right of 2 1/2 acre feet of water for them and their heirs forever, signed by the President of the United States.
photo: Life Magazine