The first modern-day settlers were dispatched to what is now known as East Mill Creek in the spring of 1848. The primary reason for them settling this region was the existence of a permanent source of water–the stream that flowed west from the canyon located in the mountains that lined the east end of the Salt Lake Valley. Other factors that favored this location were the gentle slope of the landscape and soil that was suitable for irrigated crops. The stream also provided drinking water to the early pioneers and power for lumber and grist mills.
The first fruit orchard was planted near the mouth of the canyon in the spring of 1848, which was irrigated by water transported from the stream via a ditch. Between 1848 and about 1900 a network of irrigation ditches was constructed to provide water for irrigation (orchards and gardens) and for farming. These first irrigation ditches took on the names of families who constructed them and through which transported the stream water to homes and farms. There were no formal or legal agreements as to the distribution of water among the ditches until a lawsuit in 1913 which resulted in what has become known as the “Morse Decree” (after the Judge C.W. Morse) which allocates the distribution of water to the homes along the several ditches that were in existence at the time. It also decrees the distribution of “house water” to specific water users.
The East Mill Creek Water Company was officially organized in March 1923 with the drafting and approval of its Articles of Incorporation. In June 1923 the Water Company entered into an exchange agreement with Salt Lake City to share the water from East Mill Creek. In exchange for exclusive use of the water from October 1 through March 31, the City provides culinary water to the community and maintains the culinary delivery system. East Mill Creek Water Company was organized as a nonprofit mutual water company for purposes of providing a water supply for beneficial uses by its stockholders.