From Water to ElectricityFremont River water also powered Torrey's first electricity, which arrived in 1929. Recalling those days, Torrey resident Clay Robinson wrote, "When January rolled around the night temperatures often dropped below zero. Water flowing through the canal... into the power plant would turn to ice, curtailing the stream. The generating turbine would slow. The electric bulbs in our house would flicker. Light in the room would fade into a twilight, brighten momentarily, then zoom into total darkness."
Big Apple PavilionDuring the Great Depression, the Lee family built an open air dance hall in an apple orchard on Main Street. They held boxing matches there, drawing people from all over Wayne County. After each match, people danced under the stars. The restored pavilion remains a gathering place for community events.
Securing Water for TorreyWater is the lifeblood of any settlement, and Torrey settlers encountered great challenges in their efforts to secure a steady water supply. Though they found a culinary spring up on Thousand Lake Mountain, a wide lava field separated it from the town site. Around 1900, settlers built a flume of hand-hewn logs to carry the water over the lava bed into a ditch and down the 10,000-foot mountain into Torrey. Residents still
rely on Thousand Lake Mountain springs for their drinking water.
Around 1900, settlers also began digging a canal to divert water from the Fremont River for irrigation. Fifteen years later, they completed the 11-mile canal. Robert Peden, a Scottish stone mason, cut a 500-foot section of the ditch through a solid rock shelf, using a pick-ax and mule, a project that took him 6 years to finish. This same canal provides Torrey's irrigation water today.