New Daytonites should do homework on past flooding
May 31, 2005
Flooding in Dayton isn’t anything new – it has happened several times over the last 150 years (in recorded times).
In one of the floods, in 1861-62, some of the stamp mills were washed away, and there were a couple of drownings while they tried to save the millworks.
It washed away a bridge, and after the water subsided, Bolivar Roberts built a toll bridge over the river (at nearly the same site as today’s Dayton Bridge).
The Flood of 1907 washed out the dams and bridges from above Empire near Carson City to Buckland’s Ranch. The water washed out the Rock Point Mill race and tore out the Carson & Colorado Railroad track above the bridge. The only way to get across the river for more than a month was by a “go-devil,” a sort of swing suspended from a cable.
Then, in November 1955, there goes the bridge again, and a “go-devil” was again used to get people across the raging river. One of those transported was a 20-year-old pregnant woman who was about to deliver. The woman and child made it to delivery fine and are still at home on the east side of the river.
You may recognize the name – Del Minor. Her daughter, Cam, was not affected.
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People continue to move into Dayton and cover up the landscape with houses and asphalt that is creating more of a flooding problem. Since I have lived here, the past 17 years, we have had two wrecking floods.
The dry gulch near my house becomes a raging river in nothing flat and washes out my driveway every time.
Since the history of the weather repeats itself on a regular basis, new people moving into the area should be asking a lot of questions and make sure they are not planning to live in a natural flood drainage area or flood plain.
Come see photos of yesteryears’ floods at the Dayton Museum.
The Dayton Museum is on Shady Lane and Logan Street in Old Town Dayton. It’s also the location of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce office. It is open during the week at random hours and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Check out the Web site daytonnvhistory.org. Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-0462 or 246-0441.
n Ruby McFarland is a 17-year resident of Dayton, a board member of the Dayton Historical Society and a docent at the museum.