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


p. 90

The rains of the winter season of 1861-62 will always be remembered. They were unprecedented, and their maximum

p. 91

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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