Shoshone County Flood Control Project Records, 1935-1940  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Shoshone County Flood Control Project
Shoshone County Flood Control Project Records
1935-1940 (inclusive)
1 l.f.
Collection Number
MG140 (collection)
Correspondence, financial accounts, maps, and plans of Idaho Emergency Relief Administration District #5 Administrator Harry Marsh's application for Works Projects Administration funds.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 208-885-0845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

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.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

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.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Correspondence Return to Top

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.

Series II. Proposals and Financial Accounts Return to Top

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.

Series III. Maps and Plans Return to Top

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.

Series IV. Newspapers and Clippings Return to Top

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.

Series V. Photographs Return to Top

Photographs of flood control projects, CCC camps and other Shoshone County scenes.

Description Dates
1: Camp buildings [CCC ?] at 36° below
6 prints
Jan. 19, 1937
2: CCC camps and personnel
65 prints
3: Flood control project
17 prints
4: Flood control project
30 prints
January-March, 1934
5: Flood control project
11 prints, 12 negs
July 13, 1935
6: Flood control project
30 prints, 2 negs
7: Floods [undated] 10 prints
8: Kellogg, Idaho. Flood
1 print
9: Miscellaneous prints. 988-105-40
10 prints
10: St. Joe River Valley, Kootenai Valley, and Spokane River
9 prints, 8 negs
11: W.P.A Unit 8 - WP 1727. Milo Creek, Big Creek and Kellogg
9 prints
May 23, 1940
12: Wallace, Idaho. Bank Street
9 prints
13: Wallace, Idaho., Flood
2 prints
14: Wallace, Idaho. Flood
29 prints
15: Homes
3 prints
16: Logging scenes and equipment
16 prints
17: Lookout Pass
4 prints
May 12, 1933, and undated
18: Mill (unidentified)
1 print
19: Miscellaneous prints
15 prints
20: Portraits (unidentified)
2 prints
21: Post cards (various subjects)
22: Shoshone County Flood Relief Project Official Project No. 65-92-1179
4 prints, 2 negs
Apr. 4, 1936
23: Shoshone County Flood Relief Assn. Potato crop (field)
1 print
24: Snow scenes
12 prints
25: Wallace, Idaho. After fire of 1910
2 prints

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Flood control -- Idaho -- Shoshone County -- History -- Sources
  • Corporate Names :
  • Idaho. Emergency Relief Administration
  • United States. Work Projects Administration
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Marsh, Harry Webb, 1886-
    • Corporate Names :
    • Shoshone County Flood Control Project