images of early Russian River floodsThe upper photo shows #9 worst flood along the Russian River. It was in 1879, Guerneville, with the very first recording of such torrents. Damage was widespread.  The tracks of the San Francisco & Northern Pacific Railroad dropped into the stream just east of Rio Nido. The boilers and engines at Korbel sawmill were likewise under water. Part of Guerne Mill fell into Fife Creek (near today’s Saefway parking lot).

The lower left photo pictures the 1907 flood where it destroyed the Bohemian Bridge.  It is uncertain if this was the pedestrian bridge or the railroad trestle.  The later delivered San Francisco Bohemians from where the ninth tee box is today at Northwood Golf Course (built in 1928) to the top of a granite bluff & into the Grove.

Early Floods:

The lower right photo shows a cluster of logs jamming up against the Hacienda Bridge in 1937.  It was not uncommon for floods along the lower reaches of the Russian River to decimate lumber mills, propelling valuable product downstream, free for the taking.  Bridges would incur damage as well as foundations to homes, which were uprooted and sent on their way.  Enterprising survivors would sometimes recover these wayward shacks and cart them off to house new residents.