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Storms in Marshall & Coal Creek

1906, July 8


"The heaviest losers were : C. C. Cook, candy maker; J. G. Trezise, on caskets; Haslip family, household goods; Fred and Mart Eldred, household goods and papers; Owners of lawns and gardens. Total loss, probably $15,000.

"A wall of water six feet high rolled up on Sunshine canon west of the Colorado Sanitarium Sunday afternoon and poured through Pearl Street. Augmented by the breaking of the Silver Lake Ditch, a torrent spread over a large territory and left its mark behind scattered all over the neighborhood. Railroad traffic was held up as the tracks were completely inundated. Great gorges were torn in the Sunshine road, which has been ruined for a mile west of town.

"The water spread at the point where the dry gulch comes into Pearl Street, rushed down through gardens at the corner of Third street, through Pearl and down into Walnut and Railroad street. Vast quantities of sand and debris were deposited on lawns and gardens. Water stood two feet deep on the platform at the Colorado and Southern passenger depot and the yards were so flooded that the tracks were invisible. The engineers could not see the rails, nor could the passengers alight of get on the trains.

"There was confusions at the livery stable of Fields and Lucas at the corner of Thirteenth and Walnut. Water from Railroad street poured in from the rear of the barn and stood four feet high. Owners joined with the livery men for an hour in an effort to get out their stock.

"The stable of J. G. Trezise, on Walnut between Eleventh and Twelfth, was flooded also. Trezise is an undertaker and had stored there many valuable caskets which were ruined. Adjoining his stable is Chas. C. Cook's candy factory. Mr. Cook's basement was flooded and it was filled with valuable goods. He estimates his loss at $1,000, and it looks as a reasonable estimate.

"In the Rutter building on Pearl, near the corner of Ninth, four families living in the basement of a large store building were driven out by the water. Their household goods and provisions were practically all destroyed and the people had narrow escapes. May Haslip, child of a family living in that building fell into the water which still stood there to a depth of several feet and had a narrow escape. She is but 6 years old. While still submerged, Fred Eldred, by wading in the water up to his armpits rescued her.

"Mayor L. R. Johnson and Street Superintendent Robert Donald got out a large force of men early. To their efforts in building a temporary wall at Third Street is due the early cessation of the flood. They were able to direct it in its natural channel across Pearl and down into Boulder Creek.

"The rain Saturday night and Sunday afternoon was the heaviest that has occurred here for many years. It has been a boon to farmers in spite of the harm to others. The waterspout did considerable damage to the Silver Lake Ditch, which now is the property of the city of Boulder. This broke and contributed considerable to the body of the flood which afflicted the west part of town.

"The funeral of Henry Rogers which was being conducted under the auspices of the Odd Fellows at the Methodist church, was adjourned by reason of the flood until this morning after a large number of persons had assembled in the Methodist church. It was found impossible for the funeral cortege to cross the streets to the south side during the progress of the flood.

"Hon. S. A. Giffin, who keeps water measurements, says that 2.8 inches fell Saturday night and Sunday. The average annual precipitation is 17 inches. Within 20 minutes Saturday night one inch of rain fell.

"Wanted: Storm sewers and sewers leading across Pearl to the creek to protect property at the corners of Pearl, which are too frequently flooded by storms. Also, a containing wall to confine within a natural channel the floods that once in several years rush down Third street, and spread out over a wide territory, inflicting great damage to property owners along (illegible), Walnut and Railroad Streets. Reward paid by the people to the council and commissioners of Boulder county if they take these protective measures quickly.........

"Steps taken to Prevent Future Recurrence of Sunshine Canyon Floods. Mayor Lou R. Johnston was out in a buggy all yesterday afternoon to direct the stopping of the flood and help wherever his services could be of account. Street Superintendent Donald had a gang out all afternoon and turned the stream back into its proper channel. Mayor Johnston asked the county commissioners to meet him and this morning they agreed upon a plan. They will crib with peeled logs for 500 feet so as to provide a bulwark against encroachment of future floods on private property. The bridge on Pearl street at Third was so faultily constructed as to cause the trouble Sunday. This was agreed to. The commissioners decided to accept the very generous offer of the city to pay half of the expense of the work of cribbing under direction of Mr. Donald, and to put in a first class bridge that will permit of a great flow of water passing beneath it and on into Boulder creek. Mr. Donald said that lumber would cost $27 a thousand and it was decided that the trusts extortions would not be permitted. Peeled logs will be better in any event. The cribs are to be filled with dirt and rock and 'they will last a life time', said Mayor Johnston. The dry creek bottom is outside the city limits.........

Lightning played a peculiar freak at the house of Jack Faus, 15th and Spruce, Saturday night, entering the bedroom on the east side and imbedding itself several inches in the wall. A bundle of paper napkins hanging to the wall were cut into infinitesimal pieces, presenting the appearance of the work of mice. Ernestine Faus was lowering a window in the bedroom and was numbed by the shock." Daily Camera, July 9, 1906.

Information compiled by Elizabeth Black

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