The end of this month, the Gizmo Production crew will visit Kinsley to film our story of living on the floodplain. I have spent the day looking up newspaper articles on the bigger floods that this area has experienced in 1921, 1942, 1965, 1971, 1973, and 1996. If anyone has pictures or stories about flooding, don’t forget to share it with the library for possible inclusion in the finished film and as a definite addition to our archives.
An article which brought to mind Noah and his flood was in the Kinsley Mercury of June 16, 1921. It reported on the June 9 flood that “Every flood brings a revival of boat building, and this one has been no exception.” One skiff that was built made several experimental trips down the river. “All went well till they got to the Fred Fletcher place when they hit an obstruction and capsized. However, as the water was only about four feet deep they rescued themselves and their craft. The plan on which this good ship was operated was very simple. The current was too swift for upstream navigation, so the party would voyage downstream to some convenient point then load and go back up the stream and start again.”
It was also reported that another group of citizens “have built the most pretentious boat that has ever been built in this section. It is 20 feet long with 5 ¾ beam. They have installed a four cylinder Reo motor. It has capacity for about 8 adults. They plan trips on the Arkansas and expect to develop enough power to come back against the current after going downstream. They launched their craft Sunday and after a few experimental trips, carried passengers for a small fee and did a good business.”