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Current Theme: History
Flood of 1909- Two Mile Creek Flood & More

Summer 1909

July 23, 1909 : Deaths on Two Mile Creek
July 24, 1909
: Aftermath of Two Mile Creek
August 18 & 19, 1909 : Boulder Canyon

July 23, 1909


Two of a Party of Twelve Persons who Went to Mt. Sanitas to Camp
Were Caught by the Flood and Rocks and Drowned.

They Lie in University Hospital Suffering from Fractured Skulls --
Others Narrowly Escaped from the Flood, Due to a Terrific Cloudburst.

Vernie Carlisle, drowned.
Arthur Dickerman, drowned.
Two others in hospital.

"A wall of water rolling down Two Mile canyon, north of the residence of Hon. James P. Maxwell, shortly after one o'clock this afternoon, caught a party which left Boulder on a camping expedition this morning. They had gone down from Mount Sanitas toward the gulch to eat their lunch when the huge wave swept over them. The girl was hurled against rocks and under the water and drowned. Mrs. Abbott of Garden City, Kansas, was injured and brought in an ambulance to University hospital and a twin sister of Miss Carlisle, also injured, was brought in in another ambulance. They were injured about the head an unconscious so that the story of the accident could not be gathered from their lips. Arthur Dickerman of Greeley was also drowned. His body was found in the rear of Oscar Johnson's house.

"The party consisted of Miss Brastow of University school, Mrs. Abbott and two boys of Garden City, Kansas, guests of Mrs. M. A. Gumaer of 1076 12th Street; Mrs. Gumaer and son Harry, Mrs. Ross of Robinson City, Ill., grandmother of the Carlisle twins, Bernice and Vera, Miss Robinson of Omaha Kansas, Mrs. Carlisle, mother of the twins, from Robinson City, Ill. and Arthur Dickerman of Greeley, Colorado.

"The party took shelter under rocks when it began to rain at one o'clock, near the creek which was running full. Suddenly one of the party called 'look at the wall of water,' and all began to scramble for a higher place. Mrs. Ross, 76 years of age, was pulled out of the torrent by Mrs. Gumaer, and it was not until after her rescue that the party discovered that four were missing. All the party are suffering with hysterics and are unable to give a very accurate account of the affair.

"Two Mile canon, down which the stream of water came, is dry most of the year, and from the appearance of the creek back of the Sanitarium there must have been a cloudburst on the north and east sides of Mount Sanitas and surrounding mountains which are drained by gulches running into Two Mile canon.

"Twelfth street (Broadway) from Fourth avenue to Eighth avenue was a stream of water when the ambulances were sent out, and all the farms on the west side of Twelfth street were greatly damaged by the water and debris.

"The two injured victims of the flood are on the operating table at the hospital and are suffering from fractured skulls. A lady who was residing near the spot of the drowning was so overcome that she fainted and was also taken to the hospital. The Carlisle twins are about 13 years old. Mr. Dickerman is about 25.......

"MAYOR'S PROCLAMATION. Citizens of Boulder are urged to use as little water as may be required and none for sprinkling, since it will not be needed for several days, until the mountain system, injured by the flood, can be repaired... A. A. GREENMAN, Mayor. "

Reported drownings of Eastern Power Company men proved erroneous. Boulder Creek suffered little from the flood, but Four Mile was badly washed at the track from Oredel west was washed out for a short distance. Two bridges are gone. The Eastern Power Company lost 10 barrels of oil, 25 telephone poles and 15 joints of high pressure pipe at Four Mile station......

"Lightening struck a large haystack on Frank Burk's place on the place formerly owned by Dr. Rust, near Valmont today." Daily Camera, July 23, 1909.

July 24, 1909


" Two dead and two in the hospital tell the sad tale of yesterday's cloudburst and flood in Two Mile canon two miles north of this city. The bodies of Vivian Carlisle and Arthur Dickerman are at the morgue of Coroner Trezise, while the two injured members of the party are at University hospital.

"Vera Carlisle, nine-year-old, a twin sister of Vivian, and daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Carlisle of Robinson Ill., is in a very critical condition at the hospital. A bad concussion of the brain, together with a multitude of bruises, have rendered her unconscious and makes her recovery doubtful. She rested easy last night and was in a semi-conscious condition for a short time this morning. Her father is on his way from Robinson.

"Mrs. Abbott of Garden City, Kansas, is in the hospital and will, probably, recover. Last night after being taken to the hospital she vomited mud which she had swallowed, and still has some of this on her lungs. She is in a badly battered condition but not seriously injured, according to the opinion of her physicians.

"The body of Arthur Dickerman will be shipped to Greeley tonight, where interment will be tomorrow. His father, E. R. Dickerman, came from Greeley this morning and will accompany the remains north. Mr. Dickerman is a retired business man of Greeley, while his son, who was 28 years and 9 months of age, was a general clerk in a store of that city."

"F. L. Preston and Prof. W. F. Bleecker, his tenant, had considerable mill and chemical stuff float down Boulder Creek during yesterday's big rainstorm and the mill at 9th street bridge was for several hours isolated from the main land by water which cut an outlet of its own north from the creek.......The home of Oscar Johnson on Two Mile, near which Arthur Dickerman's drowned body was found, was struck by lightning. Mr. Johnson put out the fire by dashing flood water upon it."

SWITZERLAND TRAIL HIT BY FRIDAY STORM. About 100 yards of the track of the Denver, Boulder & Northwestern between Orodell and Crisman was washed out yesterday by a cloudburst in Four Mile Canon. The officials of the road sent out a hurry call to their section hands to gather in that district, but in spite of the efforts of a large force of men the track was not prepared until about noon today. The washout hit the railroad company hard as there were two excursions set for today which it was obliged to postpone. The regular train for the mountains left at 10 o'clock this morning and succeeded in getting past the washout on a construction track. During the storm yesterday Boulder Creek rose higher than it has been for years and the railroad officials fearing that the first bridge in the canon just above their yards, would be washed out, placed loaded box cars on it.

"The Eastern Colorado Power Company lost two railroad bridges at Ordell, 10 barrels of oil, 25 telephone poles and 15 joints of high pressure pipe, which were on a siding at Ordell station. The pipe, which measured 30 feet in length, 36 inches in diameter, and 8 - 10 of inches thick, were washed down the canon and badly bent, so that new pipe will have to be secured. The Eastern Power Co.'s loss is estimated at $5000. Two Denver, Boulder and Western cars at Oredell are in the ditch. They are filled with Eastern Power Co. supplies."

"Frequent floods out of Two Mile Canyon, which is very nearly a dry creek bed, have filled North 12th Street (Broadway) several times this season with sand washed down the south side of 12th. There can be no permanent road work done on 12th Street until provision shall have been made to take off these floods by way of Goose Creek or some other natural or artificial channel. The city council should consider the matter, determine at whose expense the work should be done and provide for some disposition of these flood waters which will save 12th street and property from further damage." Daily Camera, July 24, 1909

Check out Two Mile Creek in BASIN Watershed

1909, August 18 & 19th

"CLOUDBURST IN BOULDER CANON. Warnings of a flood coming down Boulder Canyon were sent out about 3;30 this afternoon and the excitement for a time was intense, many people expecting to see a huge wall of water coming down the canon and flooding the town. At the time of going to press however, all danger seems to be over of anything like a disastrous flood.

"The Eastern Colorado Power company are the greatest sufferers but it is impossible to get any details at this time. Some bridges are out and two or three hundred feet of track of the D. B. & W. was washed out. Street Commissioner Bob Donald and Fire Chief Fonda were out with a large force of men looking after the roads and bridges. No loss of life is reported. Riders were sent through the creek bottoms giving warning to the farmers and residents." Daily Camera, August 18, 1909



"Boulder citizens living in the lowlands on the banks of Boulder Creek were thrown into a fever of excitement yesterday afternoon by horseback riders sent out to warn the people that a flood of water was coming down the canon. As a result, many of the people dwelling in that district made haste to reach surrounding high places and large crowds of disinterested citizens gathered on the bridges to watch the water on its mad rush through the city.

"A telephone message was received in this city at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon that a wall of water 8 or 10 feet deep was coming down the canon. As there were no means of verifying the report, Chief Fonda of the fire department, and Bob Donald, street commissioner, set a large force of men to work with spikes to save the bridges in the city and dispatched riders into the lowlands.

"Water Superintendent W. W. Wells and his assistant immediately drove up the canon and shut off the city water supply at the intake, six miles above this city in order to keep dirty water from getting into the local reservoirs.

"By 4:30 the danger of a flood was over and citizens began to feel easier. The water came from a cloudburst on Sugar Loaf Mountain and was conveyed down Bummer Gulch to Boulder Creek.

"Little damage is reported as having been done. The Eastern Colorado Power Company lost a bridge at its first camp and the Colburn mill at the foot of Bummer Gulch was damaged a little. The Bleeker Reduction Works were damaged to some extent and the Preston Mill in which the reduction works are situated was badly undermined by the rushing waters. Outside of this, little damage has been reported.

"The Denver, Boulder and Western was delayed at Crisman for six hours, while a large force of men were repairing the track between Ordell and Langel, which was badly washed and covered with sand. A relief train was sent from Boulder to transfer the passengers so that they could reach this city.

"The heavy rain in this city flooded cellars on Pearl and 12th streets, but did little damage. The stone wall recently built under the sidewalk in front of the Armoory (sic) caved in but is being repaired.

"S. A. Griffin reports that the government register at his residence recorded a water fall of 71 hundredths inches during the first 20 minutes of yesterday's rain, and a fall of 1:36 inches for the balance of the afternoon. Last night .13 inches of rain fell. The record for the first twenty minutes yesterday eclipses all former records of rainfall in this city." Daily Camera, August 19, 1909

Information compiled by Elizabeth Black.

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