The Heritage of Daniel Haston


The Caney Fork of the Cumberland
Topography, Stream Flows, and Rainfall - Page 13
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Topography, Stream Flows, and Rainfall Records

The slope of fall in the river varies from sections that are nearly level to definite falls.  The latter occur at Great Falls just below the Dam and at the upper end of "The Gulch" where the river drops off the Cumberland Plateau.
  • From Mouth of River to Sligo ... 1.4 feet per mile,
  • From Sligo to Franks Ferry ... 2.8 feet per mile,
  • From Franks Ferry to power House ... 10.7 feet per mile,
  • From Power House to Dam ... 75.0 feet in 3/4 mile,
  • From Dam to Upper end of Reservoir at lower end of Big Bottom ... 3.0 feet per mile,
  • From lower end of Big Bottom to upper end of "The Gulch" at the edge of the Cumberland Plateau ... Approximately 880 feet total,
  • From edge of Plateau to source north of Pleasant Hill (about 8 air miles) ... Approximately 300 feet.

The first beginnings of the river is at elevation 2000 feet.

There has been a wide range in the stream flow of the Caney Fork River.  At Rock Island it has varied from a low of 100 cubic feet per second (c.f.s.) to a high of 210,000 on Good Friday, 1929.
There is no information available on the flood of 1852 in respect to stream flow, but from flood elevations pointed out to the writer by Old Timers, it was probably about the same as the Good Friday flood of 1902 (1929?).  Both floods washed out practically every mill and bridge on the Caney Fork and its main tributaries.
The table on the following page was prepared by the writer after the 1929 flood and is included as it gives some idea of the large floods which have occurred on the Caney Fork and Its tributaries.
Rainfall records have been published by the U.S. Weather Bureau for the stations listed below.  The locations are within or on the edge of the drainage area.

Date Installed


Date Installed

Buffalo Valley 1927     Carthage 1900
Cookeville  1915     Crossville 1912
Grace 1900     Liberty 1900
McMinnville 1900     Rock Island Replaced Walling
Sparta 1906         Walling 1904

Grace was replaced by Walling

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