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Early 1900s postcard of Dobbins Creek on Austin’s east side likely below the present-day site of the East Side Lake dam.

LOOKBACK: Battling the flashy Dobbins Creek

Flour mill, crossing near today’s East Side Lake dam proved challenging with flashy creek

In 1854, Robert Dobbins got his feet wet — literally — while trying to help establish a new community that later would be called “Austin.”

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1892 Sanborn Fire Insurance map of the Beaver Lake/Dobbins Creek flour mill in Austin at today’s site of the East Side Lake dam. This was the last year of the mill due to a June 1892 flood blowing out the dam.
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Austin Daily Herald photo of local city and county leaders in spring 2017 checking out the nearly finished Oakland Place NE bridge over Dobbins Creek at the East Side Lake dam.
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Austin’s Oakland Place Northeast bridge, opened in 2017, pictured in summer 2020 at East Side Lake.
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Dobbins Creek rages over and along the sides of the East Side Lake dam in September 2016 during a flood in Austin.
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Photo of the 1932 Oakland Place NE bridge by Jason Smith on www.bridgehunter.com.
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1874 plat map of City of Austin. Note: no backwater or crossing shown yet on Dobbins Creek.
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April 15, 1875 (Mower County Transcript)
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Jan. 13, 1876 — Mower County Transcript
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2016 possible remnants of abutments for past bridge crossings over Dobbins Creek below today’s East Side Lake dam in Austin. These remnants were removed when the Oakland Place NE bridge was replaced by Mower County with a new, larger bridge in 2017.
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1883 ad for the former Warner’s Mill
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1888 drawing of the Dobbins Creek mill area crossing and the former Beaver Lake.
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1892 Sanborn Fire Insurance map showing the East Side Mills. “Mill Pond” in this area also was called Beaver Lake at that time but a flood this year drained it when the dam blew out.
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1896 plat map showing the loss of Beaver Lake on Dobbins.
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East Side Lake’s dam — at low flow — in winter 2020.
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Jacob “Jake” Herzog
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Austin’s East Side Lake dam on Dobbins Creek from the 1940s.
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Oakland Place Northeast bridge over Dobbins Creek near Austin’s East Side Lake dam.

Formed in 2007, CRWD works to reduce flooding and improve water quality on the Cedar River State Water Trail and its tributaries in southern Minnesota.

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