Warner Township

Clark County, Wisconsin



The Flood at Hemlock-1914


The History of Clark County, Wisconsin, compiled by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge in 1918 says the three greatest disasters to befall Greenwood were the fire of 1885, which destroyed eight buildings and left a blackened gap in the village, the fire of 1900, which destroyed the Kippenhan & Palms Heading Mill, and the flood of 1914, which took out the dike dam and mill at Hemlock, and the bridge across the Black River, in addition to other damage done in the region up and down the valley.  "It is estimated that about 25 feet of the levee on the east bank of the Greenwood Dam was taken out and some damage done to the power house. The ripraping on the east bank was removed and part of the pier in the pond was lifted and taken down stream. The Machinery in the power house, including the switch board and dynamo, were saved by the diligent work of several during the time water was running on the levee...At Hemlock the saw and grist mills were wiped out by the dam bursting." (Greenwood Gleaner, June 11, 1914).


The saw mill was taken first and when it swung down stream the roller mills were hit and tipped off its foundation. The bridge was first to go, followed by other small buildings and some lumber and shingles. Men and teams were at work there most of the afternoon taking the grain, flour and feed out of the mill to a place of safety. But before their task was completed the mill was taken by the torrent of water. During the afternoon crowds of sight-seers were at the dams and bridges watching with a great deal of excitement as debris, roots, logs and other material came floating down stream. At one time great fear was entertained for the safety of the wagon bridge when the roof of the Hemlock mills was seen coming down stream. The bridge received a severe jolt and the roof collapsed and slid under. (Greenwood Gleaner, June 14, 1914).



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