Dismal Creek floods generational land

  • Glena Hill and her grandson, Jackson, test the depth of Dismal Creek Saturday afternoon. - Ken Leinart

  • Jackson Webb points out where mini-boulders are underwater as Dismal Creek overflowed Saturday. - Ken Leinart

Glena Hill points down stream — or what should be “down creek” — about the length of a football field.

Then points upward.

To a tree.

“There was a Big Wheel in that tree. You know, one of those kid’s toys. Just hanging there,” she says.

That was 1983, maybe 1984?

“That was the highest I ever saw it,” she says. “But I think a private dam, or something similar, busted that year.

“In fact, I think we have a copy of that story from The Courier News in the house.”

Hill would know how Dismal Creek runs. The high marks and the low marks. This particular property has been in the family for … Who knows how long.

It’s agreed on that it is a “generational” piece of land — you know it’s been in the family for a long time, but to figure out how long and who first settled it would take time.

Time better spent just enjoying the land.

Hill lives on East Wolf Valley Road on 42 acres of what was once, and will always be, Fraker land.

She was born here and the land is as much of part of her being as the steady rain that is falling this Saturday afternoon.

“The creek’s high, but it’s not as high as it has been,” she says.

Hill, her daughter, Tina Webb, and grandson, Jackson Webb, are looking over part of the 42 acres that are Fraker land, or Fraker Place, just out of curiosity.

Yes, Dismal Creek — usually a small steam running behind their home — is running wild and muddy.

Butt it’s not worrisome.

Dismal Creek is not the same beast it was in 1983 or 1984 that left a Big Wheel in a tree.

Dismal Creek runs in a small valley behind Hill’s home. Walk about 200 yards down a slope and you’ll run into the small, shallow creek.

Most days.

Saturday, Hill, along with her daughter (Tina Webb) and grandchild (Jackson Webb, are looking at what Mother Nature has bestowed them.

Hill can remember every flood that graced Dismal Creek in the last 50-plus years; every high water event that ran through the little valley behind her home.

It’s Jackson who makes the connection. Standing halfway between the Dismal Creek and the home, he looks over the bank and notices, “The rocks are gone.”

“The rocks,” are five boulder-type outcroppings — a sort of bridge carrying exploring boys and girls from one side of the creek to the other.

On this Saturday they are submerged.


Submerged is too delicate.

Jackson points to a tree, water three at least three feet up on the trunk. The semi-bride is beyond, underwater.

“Okay, that’s kinda deep,” he says, then shrugs.

It’s Dismal Creek and it’s running swift and deep.

But there are no Big Wheels hanging from trees.