Justus H. Rogers, "Colusa County Its History Traced from a State of Nature through the Early Period of Settlement and Development, to the Present Day with A Description of its Resources, Statistical Tables, Etc. Also Biographical Sketches of Pioneers and Prominent Residents", 1892
(c) 2012, Mike Barkley
The rains of the winter season of 1861-62 will always be remembered. They
were unprecedented, and their maximum
rainfall has scarcely been reached since. The plains were flooded as if by
a sudden inundation of the sea. Stony Creek was four feet higher in the hills
than was ever known before, inflicting much damage, especially to stock and
fencing. At the Buttes, a Mr. Coffee estimated that out of nine hundred
head of cattle or more, he lost six hundred. Laban Scarce also was quite
a loser of cattle in this locality. Sheep seemed to have escaped with little
or no loss. At Grand Island the flood was more devastating than in any
other portion of the country. A large number of cattle perished from flood
and cold. Two houses were washed away, one of them belonging to a Mr.
Kennedy and the other to a Mr. Baker. Owners of sheep and cattle were
compelled to take their herds down to Knight's Landing, and drive them thence
to the foot-hills. Where stock could not be removed, the high water had
driven them to the high lands, where, instead of drowning, they would starve
to death, there being little hay or grass at that time on the island.
Even brush was packed to cattle, in this emergency, to keep them from
starving. During all this period of high water, Colusa town loomed up like
an Ararat in a broad sea. The river, rolling swiftly but smoothly, kept
within its banks and the town suffered little or nothing.
The rainfall of this season registered thirty-five and fifty-four
one-hundredths inches, and was only exceeded, in previous years, as
far as any record has been kept and known, by that of 1852-53 in which
thirty-six and fifteen-hundredths inches fell, and in 1849-50, in which
there was a rain precipitation of thirty-six inches. Following hard
upon the rains, came another visitation almost phenomenal. The plains
which had recently resembled an inland lake, assumed another shape,
caused by excessive cold during the first week in February, 1862.
stretched away beyond vision, one glittering sheet of ice. In many
places the current had piled up sheets of ice, one upon another,
ten feet high, forming stationary icebergs. . . .
--Mike Barkley, 167 N. Sheridan Ave., Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817
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