Drone’s-eye view: Dinely Bridge to Lake Elowin

Starting at the Dinely Bridge, the Kaweah River gorge narrows. The date on the current bridge reads 1957. The existing bridge replaced the previous one that washed out in the December 1955 flood. A determining factor in the failure of the old structure was the narrow river channel where debris, including several huge redwood logs, built up against the bridge rails until the force became too much to hold.

The fateful night and predawn hours of December 22-23,1955, are indelibly etched in the annals of Three Rivers. But it wasn’t the damage in Three Rivers that led the federal government to take action. Rather it was the three to four feet of water on Main Street in Visalia that eventually led to key legislators passing bills to fund the building of Terminus Dam, completed in 1962.

Up canyon, bluff-top and hillside homes permeate the landscape. The corner of the pond that is visible is Lake Elowin. It was developed with ditch rights conveyed in a deed from Mt. Whitney Power Company. In the pre-World War II years, the property was owned by Herb Wilson. Wilson built a few cabins that became popular with visitors to Sequoia National Park. 

In 1977, current owner Milton Melkonian from Visalia purchased the property and upgraded the cabins and the lake. Several renowned musicians, writers, and Hollywood celebs have made Lake Elowin Resort their secret hideaway for many years.  

The Dinely Bridge, reopened in 1957 after being washed out in the flood of December 22-23 of 1955.

3 thoughts on “Drone’s-eye view: Dinely Bridge to Lake Elowin

  • March 13, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    In 1955 I was only 4 years old and living in the old Savage house on the North Fork. I remember those days well, watching the water come closer and closer to our house. Fortunately it didn’t make it to the ditch which ran behind the house. The community spirit of The North Fork came together during that time, with everyone willing to be there for each other. We were stranded because the bridge in downtown 3R was washed away too.

  • March 16, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    What’s the point of the drone 25 seconds? Drones are a wonderful tool but highly annoying to many…I do enjoy the wonderful history, though…

    • March 16, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Janet. The 25 seconds are mandated by a law that states a drone must be flown in sight of the pilot at all times. If you notice, we are flying at an unobtrusive elevation and flight paths are utilized with utmost concern for privacy.

      The history is a kick… so many stories so little time.


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