Hume Lake in Winter (Part 3)

14 01 2008

Making our way around the lake, we encountered an old incense cedar stump uncovered by the lowered lake level.  We were intrigued with how well preserved it was.  The twists and turns of the grain stand witness to the decades, maybe more than a century, that this old tree stood guard over Long Meadow Creek.  Finally, the lumberjack’s  blade found it and felled it, along with a hundred other trees whose remnants lie submerged in the lake most of the year.  When Gifford Pinchot surveyed this area under Teddy Roosevelt’s orders, he decided not to include the Hume property in the new national park because it was so damaged by the indiscriminate logging that he felt there was nothing left to preserve.  The forest service acquired the lake and all the surrounding land except a parcel of about 350 acres.  A century later we know God had a different plan for that parcel.  He had reserved the property for His own use.  He had a plan to save thousands of young souls through the ministry of Hume Lake Christian Camps, which would acquire the property decades later.  Today, tens of thousands of kids from elementary through high school come through the camp each summer and hear the Good News.(Photo by my daughter)


All that now remains of the Hume logging operation is a few ruins and the dam.  This foundation wall perched on the edge of Ten Mile Creek below the dam once formed part of the mill.  Logs were stored in the lake and then bucked here before being placed in a wood and concrete flume for a 73 mile ride down the mountain to the lumber mill at Sanger, to my knowledge the longest flume of its kind ever built.  After I made this photo, I noticed that the rock in front of the wall looks vaguely like some petrified bear.


We emerged from the canyon at the other end of the dam.  Built in 1908 by John Eastwood for the Hume-Bennet Lumber Company, the 13 arches of Hume Lake Dam span 650 feet.  The structure stands 61 feet high, and rests on solid granite.  It features the world’s first reinforced concrete, multiple arch design, a type of design Eastwood employed again at Lake Florence on the San Joaquin River.  Estwood’s work dots the California countryside, a lasting testament to the truth that a house built on the rock will withstand the rising water.





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