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The Water Wheels in New Plymouth, Idaho

Updated on April 26, 2015
ArtByLinda profile image

Linda is an amateur artist and photographer who loves to travel with her husband of 37 years.

The New Plymouth Water Wheels

The Historical Water Wheels in New Plymouth, Idaho are a wonderful to see in action.

Built in the 1920s, they are strong and true.

The waterwheels are still in operation along the Noble Irrigation Canal off Hwy. 30.

The waterwheels have been inspiration for photography, paintings and replicas.

When you travel through Rural Idaho, there are so many historical photo opportunities that you will not want to miss.

The New Plymouth Water Wheels is definitely one you should see....must see!

There are five Water Wheels in All - These are working water wheels

This is the first one as your heading west. It sits a little off the road to the south.

You can see how the Water Wheels actually work, bringing water up above the ditch and dropping it into a chute, that feeds into a tube, that goes to irrigate the fields.

The History of New Plymouth, Idaho

As quoted from the Idaho State Historical Society Website


Number 984 January 1993

More than one Idaho community was founded as a model for an irrigated farm settlement, but New Plymouth is exceptional among them.

In 1894, a National Irrigation Congress that met in Denver that year decided to find a site where a small town could be developed to show how that kind of planning and accomplishment could best be done. Unlike many new townsite promotions that aspired to create large new commercial centers, this one would retain those advantages available in a small rural setting of several hundred people. After a survey of possibilities in eight western reclamation sites, a Payette Valley location was chosen.

Prominent leaders and planners from Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago arranged for prospective participants to assemble in Chicago to organize that venture in March, and by May they had a colony of 250 families enlisted to participate.

By September this group had reached and organized New Plymouth. In 1896, after only one year of planning, crops were planted and farming began.

A town plat was designed with a central arch, surrounded by one acre holdings for each family arranged around it. Then farms of ten to forty acres surrounded that center.

Parks and public buildings were interspersed among family holdings adjacent to New Plymouth's business center. All of that elaborate planning still is reflected in New Plymouth's eventual development. Later growth has somewhat exceeded New Plymouth's original specifications, but it retains its initial small town design and atmosphere. Because of its location in a fruit and vegetable area, New Plymouth--like Payette, Fruitland, Emmett, and other area communities developed a number of processing and shipping plants for prunes, apples, cherries, peaches, pears, grapes, and a variety of grains and vegetables. It achieved its purpose of demonstrating what model irrigated farming could do during an era before large state and federal projects got underway.

(This information has not been edited.)

Publications--450 N. 4th Street, Boise, ID 83702--208-334-3428

Their website link was no longer valid.

Water caught suspended in motion - from the Water Wheel

The Second Water Wheel

The New Plymouth Water Wheels

The second water Wheel I was able to get some close up pictures of. It was very pretty with yellow daffodils growing in front of it, the perfect photo opportunity.

A sheet of water falls from the Water Wheel - Just like glass

Water has amazing power - The power to turn

I am always amazed at the power of water, it can create electricity, power.

It can help build a farm, nourish a body or destroy an entire city.

Water is forever powerful.

Where is New Plymouth Idaho - you may ask

The Location of New Plymouth Idaho


New Plymouth is located at 43°58′14″N, 116°49′14″W (43.970689, -116.820449)[1]. Which is about 45 minutes North of Boise Idaho, on the Interstate I-84, take exit 9 and head north on Hwy 30.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 square miles (1.8 km²), all of it land.


Another view - of the New Plymouth Water Wheels

Working as they should - Filling the trough to flood the field to feed the families

This is a picture of the Fourth Water Wheel - See how they work

This is a picture of the Fourth Water Wheel

Showing how they work, bringing the water up in trough's and dumping it out the sides as it gets clost to the top, gravity drops it into another trough, which gravity feeds out from the wheel in flumes to the tubes in the fields.

The water looks so clean and clear - When the water wheels take it

I love the feeling you get when you watch them work and hear the water pouring.

Rear View of a water Wheel - in New Plymouth

The Fifth Water Wheel

The New Plymouth Water Wheels

The Fifth Water Wheel, I was not able to get a picture of on this trip. I need to get permission to go to it, as it is on private property that I believe belongs to the Noble Ditch Company. Most of the Canal Roads around the rural areas are private property. Mostly to keep people from damaging them, and to keep kids from swimming in them which is extremely dangerous.

Waterwheel, Laos

Patricia Clarke Waterwheel, Laos - Photographic Print

Waterwheel, Laos

Thanks for stopping by and relaxing while learning about the beautiful Water Wheels of New Plymouth. Please leave a comment if you can. Thank you, Linda

My Water Wheel Guestbook

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I grew up on that street. Every year I helped with the maintenance and spent every summer riding the wheel to the top and diving off. Wonderful memories, thanks for sharing your pics!

    • SaintFrantic profile image


      8 years ago

      Good job.Thanks

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very cool...blessed

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Love the photographs and this sounds like a great place to

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      10 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Enjoyed the photos, the slide show is particularly impressive.

    • DougP LM profile image

      DougP LM 

      10 years ago

      This really shows how an excellent presentation can be developed from a simple object that one might not even notice when passing by. Five stars!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      10 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Great Info. You've captured some wonderful colors in your photos. It's hard to believe those waterwheels are over 75 years old. Thanks for sharing & Stumbled! :)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a nice little side trip you provide! I got a little off coarse in Suidooland and by happy accident ended up here. I'm Tipi's sister, not a member ad usually hang around her lenses but every once in a while I discover other pleasures in the land of Squidoo.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Another great lens Linda great pictures, 5 stars

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      11 years ago

      As usual Linda, such gorgeous photography, I really love watereweels, have seen them in real life and they are so beautiful. Great job.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I like the flicker slide. best part of the lens =] Beautiful!!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      11 years ago from Royalton

      The waterwheels are beautiful. The ingenuity of our forefathers is impressive. Thank you for sharing.

    • ArtByLinda profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Hoxie 

      11 years ago from Idaho


      Thank you so much for shining up my stars, for taking the time to stop by and the warm welcome. I am happy to be part of your group! :-)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Such lovely photos on a great Lens 5* and welcome to Travelmania Group.

      Tapir Travel

    • ArtByLinda profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Hoxie 

      11 years ago from Idaho

      Webcodes, Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and the ***** stars! :-) Linda

    • Webcodes LM profile image

      Webcodes LM 

      11 years ago

      Nice job 5*, great pics.

    • ArtByLinda profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Hoxie 

      11 years ago from Idaho

      Hi Kim,

      Thank you so very much! Actually I already have a couple lens' in the travel group. Visit the Oregon Coast and Oregon Lighthouses but these Water Wheels are close to home and close to my heart! Thank you for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate you!


    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      11 years ago

      Wow, these are beautiful! Welcome to All Things Travel.

    • ArtByLinda profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Hoxie 

      11 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you Star! :-)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Linda;Those are really awesome pictures!Great work;

      Love ya lots, Your Sister Star


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