Shoshone County Flood Control Project – Wallace ID


Emergency relief crews, including WPA and CCC workers, undertook cleanup and dredging in Wallace and nearby towns after persistent flooding of the Coeur d’Alene River in 1933 and 1934. From the University of Idaho archives, describing the collection on file:

“The floods of 1933 were by far the worst. Three days of torrential rains in early June sent the Coeur d’Alene River and its tributaries over their banks. Then on December 21 a sudden thaw accompanied by heavy rains caused landslides and flooding. Coeur d’Alene Lake reached an all time high level of 2139.5 feet above sea level–two feet higher than the record levels of 1894 and 1917. The South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River and Placer Creek went over their banks inundating the eastern and western sections of Wallace; then on December 22 Nine Mile Creek overflowed its banks, adding to the already extensive destruction. On December 23 the storm stopped, the weather turned cold and by the 26th the rivers were back in their banks, leaving behind nearly one million dollars worth of property damage in Wallace alone. It was estimated that property damage in Shoshone County reached three and a half million dollars. March 27-29, 1934 saw more heavy rains and consequently more flooding. Mullan, Wallace, and Kellogg sustained approximately $100,000 damage in the April 18, 1938 flood.

Harry Marsh, who directed the clean-up operations after the December 1933 flood, was the driving force behind the flood control project which is the subject of this archival group.

I. Correspondence

This series is composed of the correspondence of Harry Marsh, District Administrator of District #5 of the Idaho Emergency Relief Administration, and concerns his 1935 application to the War Department for federal W.P.A. funds to implement a flood control project in Shoshone County. After being favorably acted upon at the local and regional levels, the application was denied at the national level due to lack of funds. In November 1934 a transient camp was established near Wallace and men from this camp began work on the project.

II. Proposals and Financial Accounts

Among the items in this series are an outline of the flood control project dated August 2, 1935 and two applications to the Works Progress Administration dated November 12, 1935 and November 18, 1939. There are also sketchy statements of the amount of money expended for the repair of the 1933 flood damage by the counties and the federal government.

V. Photographs

Photographs of flood control projects, CCC camps and other Shoshone County scenes.

Folder 1    Camp buildings [CCC ?] at 36 below, Jan. 19, 1937    6 prints
Folder 2    CCC camps and personnel    65 prints
Folder 3    Flood control project [n.d.]    17 prints
Folder 4    Flood control project, January-March, 1934    30 prints
Folder 5    Flood control project, July 13, 1935    11 prints, 12 negs
Folder 6    Flood control project, 1936?    30 prints, 2 negs
Folder 7    Floods [n.d.] 10 prints
Folder 8    Kellogg, Idaho. Flood, 1933    1 print
Folder 9    Miscellaneous prints. 988-105-40    10 prints
Folder 10    St. Joe River Valley, Kootenai Valley, and Spokane River    9 prints, 8 negs
Folder 11    W.P.A Unit 8 – WP 1727. Milo Creek, Big Creek and Kellogg, May 23, 1940    9 prints
Folder 12    Wallace, Idaho. Bank Street    9 prints
Folder 13    Wallace, Idaho., Flood, 19??    2 prints
Folder 14    Wallace, Idaho. Flood, 1933    29 prints
Folder 15    Homes    3 prints
Folder 16    Logging scenes and equipment    16 prints
Folder 17    Lookout Pass, May 12, 1933, and undated    4 prints
Folder 18    Mill (unidentified)    1 print
Folder 19    Miscellaneous prints    15 prints
Folder 20    Portraits (unidentified)    2 prints
Folder 21    Post cards (various subjects)
Folder 22    Shoshone County Flood Relief Project Official Project No.
65-92-1179, Apr. 4, 1936    4 prints, 2 negs
Folder 23    Shoshone County Flood Relief Assn. Potato crop (field), 1933    1 print
Folder 24    Snow scenes    12 prints
Folder 25    Wallace, Idaho. After fire of 1910    2 prints”

Source notes

Manuscript Group 140, Shoshone County Flood Control Project Records, 1935-1940

National Archives Record Group 69N, Negative #8820-8826-D

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on October 26, 2016.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Wallace, ID 83873

Coordinates: 47.476734, -115.933431

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