The Devastating Denver Flood of 1864

Article AudioThe Devastating Denver Flood of 1864

On May 19, 1864 – Cherry Creek did the unthinkable, it flooded, boy howdy how it flooded, causing destruction to the city of Denver on a grand scale. At the time, Colorado was experiencing an abnormally wet spring and it had rained unceasingly for days. At one point storms produced hail as “large as hen’s eggs” for one full hour. Ranchers had already endured the loss of sheep and cows, however, the likelihood of the dry creek bed suddenly becoming a wild torrent of water was not even considered a possibility. As the city of Denver was unprepared for this occurrence, the sudden flood lead to a loss of property determined to range over one million dollars.

Listen to readings of some newspaper articles about the flood – both historic and modern, and put yourself in the shoes of the Coloradans of that time.

“Lessons from Denver’s Flood of 1864,” Denver Post. October 10, 2013.

“The Great Flood in Denver,” Daily Mining Journal. May 23, 1864.

To learn more about the flood of 1864, and so many other historical events in Colorado’s history, check out the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection – . You’ll be glad you did!

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