Sterling, AL Landslide Dams River, Jan 1886


Sterling, Ala., Jan. 29. -- A big landslide, involving a large portion of a famous mountain in the vicinity of this place, took place yesterday. Five miles from Sterling is what is called the Scraper Mountain, and the north side of it is a great barren waste, with huge boulders projecting over level land, and any one on the top of one of these can look straight down into the waters of the Chattooga River. About one mile of this part of the mountain began breaking loose, and with a tremendous roar rushed to the valley below, where it emptied a breat mass of rocks and trees. About one-quarter of a mile of the slide rushed its way across the Chattooga River, making a complete dam and causing the water to back a distance of several miles. About 7 o'clock the water broke around the slide and rusehd with terrible force into its regular channel below. At the place where the slide left the mountain side there is a perpendicular wall of about 300 feet, and about 50 feet from the top there is a great hole 20 feet in diameter, which is supposed to be an entrance to a cave. The slide is a wonderful sight, and hundreds of people are coming from all sections to view the freak of nature. It is said the noise made by the sliding was heard a distance of 10 miles, but terrible as it was there was no loss of live or property. The cliffs and boulders have been threatening to break down ever since the heavy freeze, but no one expected so serious a result as this. A few adventurous people are making preparations to scale the place where the slide came from and explore the supposed cave.

The New York Times New York 1886-01-30