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BLACK HAWK HISTORY – FLOODS

BLACK HAWK HISTORY – FLOODS

Mining activities, the construction of mills, homes and access roads, together with the tremendous use of wood for fuel deforested the surrounding hillsides and caused frequent flooding in Black Hawk.

MAIN STREET RAIL

“Mayor Grutzmacher and County Commissioner Joseph Borzago went down to Denver, Monday last to see the railroad officials, and to get their assistance in removing the immense quantities of sand and rock that now fills Main Street from the flagpole down below the Colorado House, to adepth in many places of at least five feet…

“Mayor Grutzmacher reported to the officials that he had measured the ground and calculated that there were in the neighborhood of from 18,000 to 20,000 yards to be removed, and the condition the city was in financially, it was too great a burden to handle in the way it should be, and under the present system it would take a year or longer to put the streets in the condition they were before the flood. He was advised to call a special meeting of the council and have a temporary franchise given the railroad company granting them right and privilege of laying a track up Main Street from the depot, on which to run their flat cars, and when loaded the cars would be hauled down the track and dumped where filling was needed. A special meeting of the council was held last night, and no doubt all arrangements were made so as to secure the help of the railroad in this big undertaking.”

“To-day, Black Hawk presents anything but an inviting appearance…Gregory street is washed out in places from three to five feet deep from the Bobtail tunnel to a point below the post office, and it will be several days and perhaps a week before teams will be able to haul ore to the mills or sampling works…At the depot the tracks of the Colorado and Southern railroad are buried beneath the finest lot of sand and rubbish one would wish to see…the greatest damage to an individual resulted in the caving in of the side wall of Theo. Crook’s building, in which his saloon is located, through which a stream of water, sand and rock rushed, finding an exit through his front door.”

The Register newspaper, August 19, 1910

“…section men have been engaged since the first of the week putting in a switch from the Manson side track, and laying rails up Main Street, so that the work train can get action on the big banks of sand and rock on the street, and the superintendent of the working crew is of the opinion that he will have the streets cleared within the next ten days. A force of at least 50 men are working, and are making excellent headway.”

The Register newspaper, September 30, 1910

FLOOD AFTERMATH

“…the Colorado & Southern work train left yesterday morning, having completed the cleaning of the streets…up to the present date have removed 261 flats cars of sand and rock from the main street, where they have put in a switch to help the City out in this work.”

The Register newspaper, October 7, 1910

“The city officials are at a loss to know what to do, and will fix up the worst places temporarily, and wait for future developments in the flood line, and when the season has passed for such visitations, will put everything in shape again for the flood that will come next year or later.”

The Register newspaper, July 1910

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