The Captain Stoffel Waterwheel was built on the Wenatchee River in 1897 to provide irrigation for an 80-acre homestead comprised of both fruit and livestock acreage. At this time, the wheel stood 22 feet high, and had a wooden hub and wooden buckets. Seventeen years later, a Columbia River steamboat captain by the name of Paul Stoffel acquired 13 acres of fruit ranch from the original homestead. Stoffel, who sailed on the Columbia from 1900 to 1914, also gained possession of the waterwheel, which he began rebuilding. Stoffel took a steel shaft from an old sternwheeler and installed it as the waterwheel’s main shaft, and added 24 nine gallon steel buckets and a double circle of steel hooping for added strength. When completed, the water-lifting capacity of the wheel had been raised to 29 feet. When in operation, the wheel supplied water for the 13 acres of orchard at a steady flow of well over .5 cubic feet per second. Stoffel’s rebuilt wheel was in constant use from 1914 until 1950, by which time high water had warped a few of the large foundation timbers. As a result, Stoffel was forced to abandon the wheel and use an electric pump instead.