During the 33-year existence of the flume, which gave birth to Madera, more than one billion feet of lumber floated down the big trough from the mountains toward the mill near where Millview School now stands.
Built in 1876 by the California Lumber Co., the V-flume followed along mountainsides, through steep canyons, and often had to utilize trestles that were more than 60 feet in height.
Falling into disrepair, the flume was rebuilt in 1899, after being acquired by the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Co. The new structure ran from Sugar Pine, south to Fresno Flats (Oakhurst) and from there down to Madera, over a 54-mile route.
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, 1900, the citizens of Madera celebrated the completion of the rebuilding project with a community barbecue...