One of our recent donations involved images of the floods and fires around Main St in the 1930s and '40s. Every picture tells a story but these flood pictures are overflowing with information.
This photo shows the Otautau Stream and would've been taken in the '30s or '40s, long before the stream was radically straightened and the flood banks built. I'm not sure if it's in flood here or just its natural state. It looks like a wetland. The edges of the stream seem almost level with the road. Off to the right is the old flour mill. I had heard that when the mill was demolished in the 1980s, it was used as filler for the flood bank. I don't know if that's true but would like to find out. Just looking at the picture, we see a vastly different landscape than what we have today.
This next picture is the Otautau Stream in flood in 1948. In the distance is the Otautau War Memorial. It's amazing to see all the trees by the water (now there are none!), and the stream is so wide it could be challenging to swim across.
These are just two of the pictures we've received. There are more. Feel free to come by the museum and ask to see them. We are open Wednesdays now as well as Sundays.
Your comments are always welcome!