Sunday, September 6, 2020

Arbuckle Flats

View dates from about 1948.

This early view of Summer Falls, south of Coulee City, is out of place on this page, right? Not entirely.

The canal, built in 1947, which caused the water to flow over the falls, created a need for a bridge over the canal. This bridge, number 114, is seen near upper left of the image.

Not many know that this flat area is called "Arbuckle Flats" for a pioneer sheep rancher who lived near the upper right of the photo. Near the upper right of the photo is a clump of trees, known as "Deadman Springs." The story, best told in the book "Forgotten Trails" by Ron Anglin, is of an early traveler having been killed by this spot by some native folks.

If you were to recreate this view today, you would be disappointed. Most of the water now flows through a power plant constructed around 1984. A lined canal now brings the water all the way to the power plant, but an overflow/emergency release gate is nearby, allowing water to flow over the falls when the powerplant is out of service.

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