Manuscript Group 140
This descriptive inventory of the papers of the Shoshone County Flood Control Project in the University of Idaho Library was prepared by Judith Nielsen in October 1980.
The papers of the Shoshone County Flood Control Project are contained in one small file box and are not very extensive. By far the largest percentage of material is the correspondence of Harry Marsh, District #5 administrator of the Idaho Emergency Relief Administration, concerning the application for federal appropriations to finance a flood control project. Other material includes maps showing locations of flood control devices, newspapers from December 1933 and January 1934 with accounts of the flooding in Wallace and Kellogg, and newspaper clippings concerning the flood control project.
In addition to the material in this folder the University of Idaho Special Collections Library photograph file contains many mounted photographs of the 1933 flooding of Wallace and Kellogg.
The first serious recorded flooding of the Coeur d'Alene River area occurred in 1894, establishing a lake elevation of 2137.5 feet above sea level; the normal elevation for Coeur d'Alene Lake is 2126.5. On May 18, 1917, spring floods again reached the 1894 level, suspending rail and highway transportation for several days. On December 18 of that same year the flood waters reached the same level, causing thousands of dollars in property damage.
The floods of 1933 were by far the worst. Three days of torrential rains in early June sent the Coeur d'Alene River and its tributaries over their banks. Then on December 21 a sudden thaw accompanied by heavy rains caused landslides and flooding. Coeur d'Alene Lake reached an all time high level of 2139.5 feet above sea level--two feet higher than the record levels of 1894 and 1917. The South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River and Placer Creek went over their banks inundating the eastern and western sections of Wallace; then on December 22 Nine Mile Creek overflowed its banks, adding to the already extensive destruction. On December 23 the storm stopped, the weather turned cold and by the 26th the rivers were back in their banks, leaving behind nearly one million dollars worth of property damage in Wallace alone. It was estimated that property damage in Shoshone County reached three and a half million dollars. March 27-29, 1934 saw more heavy rains and consequently more flooding. Mullan, Wallace, and Kellogg sustained approximately $100,000 damage in the April 18, 1938 flood.
Harry Marsh, who directed the clean-up operations after the December 1933 flood, was the driving force behind the flood control project which is the subject of this archival group.
II. Proposals and Financial Accounts
III. Maps and Plans
IV. Newspapers and Clippings
This series is composed of the correspondence of Harry Marsh, District Administrator of District #5 of the Idaho Emergency Relief Administration, and concerns his 1935 application to the War Department for federal W.P.A. funds to implement a flood control project in Shoshone County. After being favorably acted upon at the local and regional levels, the application was denied at the national level due to lack of funds. In November 1934 a transient camp was established near Wallace and men from this camp began work on the project.
The correspondence is arranged in chronological order.
Among the items in this series are an outline of the flood control project dated August 2, 1935 and two applications to the Works Progress Administration dated November 12, 1935 and November 18, 1939. There are also sketchy statements of the amount of money expended for the repair of the 1933 flood damage by the counties and the federal government.
Included in this series are a 1929 map of Spokane, a plan for timber cribbing in Kellogg, the flood control plan for Mullan, the Sunshine Mine flood and erosion control map, and a 1938 map of the area of Wallace in the vicinity of the mouth of Placer Creek.
This series consists of nine pages of mounted clippings and eight complete newspapers. The clippings, taken from Coeur d'Alene, Spokane, and Wallace newspapers, deal with the flood control project and the WPA. The Wallace Press-Times newspapers contain accounts of the flooding and include the following dates: June 9, 1933; December 21, 22, 23, 26, 1933; January 19, 1934; and March 29, 30, 1934.
Photographs of flood control projects, CCC camps and other Shoshone County scenes.
Folder 1 Camp buildings [CCC ?] at 36º below, Jan. 19, 1937 6 prints Folder 2 CCC camps and personnel 65 prints Folder 3 Flood control project [n.d.] 17 prints Folder 4 Flood control project, January-March, 1934 30 prints Folder 5 Flood control project, July 13, 1935 11 prints, 12 negs Folder 6 Flood control project, 1936? 30 prints, 2 negs Folder 7 Floods [n.d.] 10 prints Folder 8 Kellogg, Idaho. Flood, 1933 1 print Folder 9 Miscellaneous prints. 988-105-40 10 prints Folder 10 St. Joe River Valley, Kootenai Valley, and Spokane River 9 prints, 8 negs Folder 11 W.P.A Unit 8 - WP 1727. Milo Creek, Big Creek and Kellogg, May 23, 1940 9 prints Folder 12 Wallace, Idaho. Bank Street 9 prints Folder 13 Wallace, Idaho., Flood, 19?? 2 prints Folder 14 Wallace, Idaho. Flood, 1933 29 prints Folder 15 Homes 3 prints Folder 16 Logging scenes and equipment 16 prints Folder 17 Lookout Pass, May 12, 1933, and undated 4 prints Folder 18 Mill (unidentified) 1 print Folder 19 Miscellaneous prints 15 prints Folder 20 Portraits (unidentified) 2 prints Folder 21 Post cards (various subjects) Folder 22 Shoshone County Flood Relief Project Official Project No. 65-92-1179, Apr. 4, 1936 4 prints, 2 negs Folder 23 Shoshone County Flood Relief Assn. Potato crop (field), 1933 1 print Folder 24 Snow scenes 12 prints Folder 25 Wallace, Idaho. After fire of 1910 2 prints