In the June issue of this newsletter, we related stories about the beginnings
of the Almond Dam project, necessitated by the ravaging effects of the Flood of
1935. The description of what the area was like before countless homes and busi-
nesses were uprooted, moved, or destroyed, brought back many memories and
elicited comments and recollections from several readers.
The summer of 1946 was a
crucial time for those living where the
proposed project was to be built. A
lengthy Evening Tribune article dated
April 4, 1946, entitled "Seybold Ex-
plains Almond Flood Control Project
Before 250 Area Residents at Central
School," begins thus: "Residents in
the working area of the proposed Almond dam must evacuate almost immediately
while those living above the site have until closure is effected in the summer of
It goes on: "Before the visitors departed, each individual present had a
clear picture of what the dam, reservoir and channel improvements would mean
personally," as well as technical data on the project itself. Sponsored by the Al-
mond Civic Club, the article includes a photo of the government officials together
with the late Robert Mason (father of Ed and Bob) and John Gilmore, club offi-
Seybold, a colonel with the Army Corps of Engineers, made these points:
"The reservoir, or pool formed by the dam, will extend approximately to the road
leading from the Almond highway South to the Erie Railroad tracks, near the vil-
lage limits. The relocated highway, which starts East of the Goff Bridge, rejoins
the Hornell Almond road near the Richtmyer farm, considerably below the ex-
treme limits of the dam's pool.
"Asked how often the relocated road would be flooded to prevent travel,
the speaker emphasized it was impossible to predict what year this area would ex-
perience another flash flood similar to the 1935 disaster. `But when it does come,
and it will, I assure you the projects will more than handle the water. The amount
of water that spread its devastation here in 1935 will only half fill the reservoir
planned,' he stated. "
He noted that the government was expected to advertise for bids on the $3.5 million project within
two weeks, let the contract in another month, and begin actual work in early June.
Two months later, the June 6, 1946 Evening Tribune carried this headline: "Arrival of Engineers
Indicates Almond Dam Contract Will Be Let." Although no contract was in place, twelve engineers from
the US government, headed by D. E. Mather, resident engineer on the Arkport Dam project in 1936-37,
had "occupied one of the evacuated houses below the dam site and plan to take over other abandoned
houses for use of federal employees on the project," the article concluded, indicating that work would
probably start that summer.
In spite of the public meeting and the moving in of the engineers, there remained skepticism
among some of the local residents, it seemed. Paulena Crossett Wheeler, who lived with her family on the
Burr Carter farm near Hopkins Road, told about her father, Howard's, reaction: "Dad wasn't going to
move. He was going to sit on the porch with his shotgun. He made no effort to find a place for us to live.
He said, `The government isn't going to get me.' And he was going to sit right there. Finally, my mother
found the house on Angelica Street where we moved." The Carter house was eventually relocated to Al-
mond Village, near the present Municipal Building location, and was used for several years as a youth
(Continued on page 2)
ALMOND DAM--Part 2
"Residents in the working area
of the proposed
Almond dam must
evacuate almost immediately..."
2 TO 5 P.M.
3:00 Bill Banker
Forge Show and
Sunday, Nov 4th
Music & Readings
Still on Sale!
September 2001 DONNA B. RYAN, EDITOR , JEFF RYAN, ASST. EDITOR Chartered in 1965