Palisade history

Staff writer

The first residents of the wide valley carved by the Colorado River were Ute tribes. In 1881, white settlers moved in and by 1894 they’d begun planting the first fruit orchards, taking advantage of the rich soil and congenial climate.

But the valley was arid, so the new growers brought water in barrels from the Colorado River. Eighty miles of irrigation canals built by the federal government in 1913 eased the process and continues to feed the fields.

The town of Palisade, founded in 1904, took its name from the palisades, steep rock cliffs north of the town.