Home Community News May 16, Castle Rock Trolley Tour: History of the Catastrophic 1965 Flood

May 16, Castle Rock Trolley Tour: History of the Catastrophic 1965 Flood

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Flood damage to the bridge at Wilcox Street (Photo: Douglas County Historical Society)

The 6th Annual Trolley Tour is happening on Saturday May 16, 2015. This year’s focus will be the 1965 flood of Castle Rock and the bridges that were washed out leaving Castle Rock cut off from the rest of Colorado.

Those interested in participating should meet at the Castle Rock Museum to board the trolley. Tour times are at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm and are approximately 45 minutes long.

Please call or email the museum for reservations as seating is limited. [email protected], (303) 814-3164

Castle Rock Trolley
Castle Rock Trolley

Background on the 1965 Flood:

In terms of total damage and the area that the waters covered, the 1965 flood was a catastrophic event in Colorado history. Caused by heavy rains that started in south Denver, they moved their way across the Front Range and into the high plains to the east causing devastating floods.

Originating in the Greeley/Sterling area on June 14 and 15, the torrential storm grew to cover the Kiowa and Bijou Creeks and spanned down to Colorado Springs. Damage along the Plum Creek basin was immense. Runoff destroyed roads and many bridges were washed away. Along with much of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad line, sizable portions of Castle Rock and Sedalia were demolished.

Overall, the four consecutive days of rain covered 250,000 acres of land, causing $540 million in damage and leaving 21 dead. The aftermath of the flood caused the Colorado General Assembly to meet that year to establish emergency relief programs and legislation to help acquire funds locally and nationally to repair communities after disastrous incidents such as this.