In 1889, the Balls Canyon Reservoir Company employed surveyor, Frank Gates Ward (1857-1895), to survey a dam and reservoir site along Secret Creek where it enters the Honey Lake Valley. In 1889-90, the first reservoir was constructed. In February 1890, a flood washed out that dam. As one observer noted, the waters of Secret Creek began rising at a rate of two feet an hour and within three hours the 27 foot high structure, that measured 150 feet in length, was swept away. The company planned to rebuild but never did. In 1895, Edward T. Purser took over the project and a new reservoir was constructed, along with a twenty-mile ditch to his property near Wendel.