Mariposa Gazette of January 7, 1862
Reports on the Results of  Big Flood and It's Aftermath
The Flood and  Rain of December 26, 1861
  To begin with, it was the hardest storm, particularly that part of it occurring  Thursday night, December 26, that has ever swept these mountains, within the  recollection of that very respectable individual “the oldest inhabitant”. The  Merced River rose fearfully high, sweeping off every bridge of the flood.
Fremont’s works were submerged, but no damage occurred, due to their  strength, except a deposit in the mills of a large deposit of sand and gravel.
Next Wyatt’s Bridge went, then the bridge of Smith and Hillman at Split Rock; then “Quartz” Johnson’s fine flume at his new mill. In the mill, too, the flood left  a “card” in the shape of sand about five feet deep. Next went the dam of  Chapin’s and Co., or Flint, Peabody and Co., thought to be the best on the  river. The mill was not damaged. Below the bridges of Nelson and Nurry, on the Stockton Road were taken off, leaving not a vestige of them. Great  damage was done in the aggregate all along the river. We hear of great losses of cattle and improvements in Merced county, but not sufficiently direct to  justify assertion to that effect. Also it is rumored that something more than a  dozen Chinamen were drowned on a bar at the lower end of Pleasant Valley,  but this we can’t trace to an authentic source.
Mariposa Creek - Should be River
    Mariposa Creek, which perhaps ought to be dignified by the name river,  rose very high, higher than was ever known before, sweeping everything in  its course, all the bridges and the railroad bridge. The machine shop of Bruce Bros. went over, endways, into the creek, followed by the large building formerly used by Wells Fargo & Co. as an express office. Then came a slide from the mountain opposite town, consisting of an acre or two of
ground, to a depth of forty or fifty feet, accompanied by an immense rush  of water, the sound of which was like that of heavy thunder. The lives of
many on the western side of the creek were endangered, but the avalanche of earth and water precipitated itself into a very deep gulch, through which
it passed off doing little damage; Shortly followed two smaller slides doing no damage. It was the worst day this place had ever seen, except that
following the fire of ‘58. Gardens gone, fences gone, mining implements gone, fruit trees gone, and we don’t know what isn’t gone along Mariposa
Creek and other creeks in this region.

In fact no such season to the present time has been known to white settlers.  If it had happened six years ago, the country would have had to be abandoned.  This place today has had no communication with “outsiders” nor has it had for a week.  Even the road to Mormon Bar is blocked up.

submitted by Harriet Sturk- Jan 24, 2003

From History of Merced County, 1881, Elliott and Moore:
"California was visited in the autumn and winter of 1861-62 by a most disastrous flood.
"The rain commenced falling on the eigth of November and continued almost without interuption to January 25, 1862, when the floods attained their greatest height.
"The streams, swollen by protracted rains throughout California, as well as Oregon and Nevada, floded the valleys, inumdated towns, swept away animals, and destroyued property....The Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced Rivers were all overflowed, and houses an villages swept-away"
From the Gazette of Jan 7, 1862--One rain gauge, "kept at the Drugstore of Gregory and Etly, shows there has fallen since the first rain in November up to Sunday morning (Jan. 5, 1862), 49 1/2 inches. This is corroborated by two others."
c feroben