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costa's hummer

Saturday, April 11, 2020

High water mark


Yesterday evening we took a walk and drive down to the river. A lot of water down there right now.


The old Santa Margarita is really flowing. The bench you see is where the old railroad track used to lay. It was last vanquished in the famous floods of 1916, the famous Hatfield flood. Check out the link, I think the guy is an awful good writer.

It has been a long while since I hiked further upriver to Morgan Springs but a section of track was still extant there, last time I checked.

They built it three different times and the native indians told them each time that they weren't high enough. Of course white men don't listen so well.

There were three major floods and then they gave up on the railroad. I read once that the local natives used to go to the top of nearby Gavilan Mountain when things got really wet. Of course there have always been floods in the region. The 1821 and 1861 floods were the stuff of legend. The first major floods in Fallbrook history were in 1883-1884. There was another flood in 1890-91. It made Fallbrook the last stop on the train from Colton to San Diego. All three floods ultimately took out the railroad.

Of course there was a lot more water in the Santa Margarita River in the old days. In 1948 the Vail dam was finished at the mouth of Butterfield Canyon. This created the 1100 acre Vail Lake, which was constructed to irrigate the 38,000 acre Pauba Ranch. This dramatically reduced the amount of water downstream in the Santa Margarita.

Rainbow Creek is really pumping too.

What a rain! Maybe more tomorrow...





1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So cool, talked to one of mission directors they said they floated logs down that river for the mission. How neat to see area 150 years ago!