Changing the Course of the River

The Skidmore Standard occasionally took a stand on matters of importance to the community.  Here’s one from the July 29, 1902 edition, page 1:

Change the Course of the River.

The crowd in town Saturday was rather small owing to the fact that the river was so high that it was considered unsafe to cross at the west river bridge, and most all that came to town from the west were compelled to go around and cross on the south bridge, however, a few of the more courageous forded the river in wagons, but found it very difficult crossing.

The river was down in its banks Sunday morning, but those crossing at the west bridge found that the mud was about as bad to get through as was the water.  There will be a bad place in the road for some time to come unless some step is taken to repair it. The grade is very low at this point and whenever the river begins to spread out over the bottom it crosses the road about one hundred yards on the west of the bridge and makes it unsafe to cross where if the grade was raised some two or three feet and a culvert put in to allow the water to pass through, crossing at this point would not be interfered with only when the river was extremely high.

We think it would be a good plan for the township board to take some action on this matter and grade up the road at this point; also to change the course of the river at the first bend south of the bridge.  By cutting a narrow ditch through to the river on the south — a distance of about one hundred yards — it would not take but a short time for the river to cut the channel larger and thus avoid it cutting away the road at the second bend.  It will only be a few more years until the river will cut the road entirely away at this point, which will necessitate the buying of more land, and will eventually cost ten times the amount of grading the road, cutting the ditch and changing the river’s course.