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Ingram, Orrin Henry, 1830-1918 / Autobiography, Orrin Henry Ingram : May, 1830--December, 1912

Dangers from floods,   pp. 67-68 PDF (434.8 KB)

Page 67

against the timbers that covered the lower side of the dam,
and the crest of the dam clear across was covered with boiler
iron, bent over the crest. These plates were six or seven feet
long and four feet wide. These were countersunk and bolted
to the covering on the upper and lower slants of the dam. The
dam was covered with oak plank eight inches thick on the up-
per and lower sides of the dam, so that the bolts through the
boiler-iron would be driven into hardwood and made very firm.
                DANGERS FROM FLOODS
   The next spring, 1880, we had a high flood which took oat
many bridges above here, (also the bridge at Eau Claire), and
the railroad bridge a little ways above the dam and the bridge
of the Milwaukee road at Wilkin's Island were carried over
the dam, and the long inch and a half bolts that were used in
the Howe-truss wooden-bridge pulled off a number of pieces
of the boiler-iron and a number of the eight-inch plank on the
lower side of the dam, as they swept over it, leaving the crib-
work exposed. The crib-work on the dam was made of 12x12
pine, the timbers running up and down on the upper side of the
dam were eight feet apart, and the timbers running the other
way, to receive the covering or planking of the dam, were the
same distance apart. In the summer following, I found the
pressure of the water on the upper side of the dam had been
so great it had squeezed the twelve-inch timbers so hard that
they were only about eight inches thick. That gave me a bet-
ter idea of the strength required under such a head of water.
When our logs were thrown out on the bottoms, in the pond
above, some of them were aground when the water subsided,
and I advised Mr. Douglas that I wanted to put on a four-foot
splash to float the logs that were aground. He objected, and
said it might be safe to put on two feet, but the dam was not
constructed to stand much more pressure than the 18 feet of
water it had to stand up against. I ventured to put on a three
foot splash, and always felt that the eight-foot splash they have

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