submerged town


By the 1930s, motor car No. 23 performed the passenger and mail duties.  When it was in the shop, a more humble car and trailer was used.

The U.S. Postmaster General Burleson was the next person to unwittingly stumble upon Sexton’s spear.  For several years mail had been carried by stage to Eureka for $8,000 a year, but when the passes were snowed in, delivery was sporadic.  The USPS offered the contract to the E&P for $16,000 annually if a bond was posted guaranteed regular delivery.

Sexton informed the USPS that there would be no bond, no formalities, and no fines for delays.  On this basis he would haul the mail at the old rate of $8,000.
That winter it snowed heavily.  Mails from the overland trains began to pile up at Palisade.  The feds insisted that Sexton could not legally refuse to deliver the mail on their terms.  Sexton informed them that he would carry the mail like any other commodity- no bond, no contract, no fines.

Washington sent two inspectors to Eureka to investigate.  Sexton accommodated them with free tickets for the 90 mile ride from Palisades on his train.  But when they were ready to return home, the ticket agent informed them that he was terribly sorry, but all trains had been canceled indefinitely.
The inspectors telegraphed Washington for advice.  They were told to rent a sleigh.  It took them six days to make the return trip through the snow.  They were “weary, cold, & disgruntled as they came over the hill into Palisade, and they probably turned the air blue when they saw an E&P train pulling in from Eureka.”

When the story hit the national papers, the Postmaster General enlisted help from the U.S. Attorney-General.  He passed a regulation that forced the E&P to carry US mail on all regular-service passenger trains.

A group of officials traveled to Palisade to enforce the regulation.  When they arrived, they saw a train made up, with passenger coaches, and a locomotive waiting full of steam.  Sexton pointed out prominent signs that said “All regularly scheduled trains are indefinitely annulled, only specials will be run hereafter.”
The spokesman for the federal party insisted the mail be put aboard.  Sexton informed them that it was not regularly scheduled passenger service, but a ‘special’, and that they’d better look at the sign on the side.  The banner on the train read, “Special Train, For Dogs And Japanese Only”.

When news of the banner hit the national headlines, it went on the overseas news wires, and caused a furor.  The Japanese foreign minister formally protested to Washington.  This caused the State Department to get involved- now the USPS, the Attorney-General’s office, and the State Department were all trying to get this small-town, narrow-gauge railroad operator to bend to their will.

They could find no legal reason why Sexton wasn’t legally allowed to run special trains for anybody.  The State Department appealed to Senator Newlands of Nevada, an old friend of Sexton’s.  Upon arrival Sexton suggested they crack open some of his prime private stock of whiskey.  After a merry meeting, Senator Newlands returned to Washington and pushed a bill through Congress that gave the Postmaster General special authority to negotiate mail contracts, and the Postmaster wrote up a contract that gave the job to the E&P just the way Sexton originally wanted it- no bond, fines, or penalties.

In February 1910, unseasonal spring rains washed out the track and slid the locomotive into the mud.  Repairs were affected, they washed out as well.  The real floods came in March, submerging the town, washing out 11 miles of tracks, and forming a 30-mile-long lake in the desert.  The locomotive remained stuck for the next 2 years.  The winter of 1911 saw temperatures of minus 20.  Eureka faced famine without a railroad to bring in supplies.  The railroad eventually got operations going again, with storms washing it out again in 1917 and 1921.  By 1927, the roads were starting to get good enough to compete with the railroad, and the Eureka boom was waning.  It finally ceased operations in 1938.

Looking at this empty valley today, with only snakes and jackrabbits and the occasional mainline train thundering past at 70 mph, it’s amazing to think that it was once the site of a scandal that went all the way to Washington and thence around the globe.

Everyone’s freaking out. Yes, they’re drowning. Mrs Hudson’s flat is completely submerged. She has left town. England has fallen.

But Sherlock’s demise came at a waterfall, the whole show centers on his choices surrounding Reichenbach – drowning is a very relevant theme.

But it’s the two of them against the rest of the world, so whatever happens we know it’ll be okay.


Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are currently in a real pickle. Since I’m Serbian, I can only talk in detail about our situation, but it pretty much is the same in our neighbor countries.

For the past few days, we had an incredible amount of rain. We’re flooded; in Serbia, two towns are pretty much submerged at this point, might as well start call them Atlantis. Schools everywhere are closed as well.

These are the worst flood these parts remember, it’s unprecedented! And it’s horrible; entire towns are evacuated, people are stuck on roofs, unable to move. 

There are major power outages and drinking water is currently unsanitary for ingestion in most parts. One of the power plants in Serbia, near one of the submerged cities (Obrenovac) is currently at risk of breaking down if the water level rises any more; which practically means we’ll be out of power in the entire area.

Our biggest power plant (a hydroelectric one in Djerdap) can’t produce energy because all it’s resources are focused on letting the water get out as quickly as possible through the damn because otherwise everything will be flooded.

So yes. Basically: Completely flooded, two towns are submerged completely, drinking water is now mostly unsanitary for humans, and there is a huge risk even more areas will lose electric power thanks to the growing level of water.

So far, some countries have sent help, tho after Serbia had asked for help (Russia, Slovenia), and the EU is being strangely quiet about this.

Try to get this out. Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also Croatia as well, are in a horrible predicament.


In 1985, Pablo Novak watched as the picturesque holiday town of Villa Epecuén was submerged. Everybody abandoned the town, except for Pablo. Now, over 23 years later, this modern day Atlantis has finally re-emerged , and what remains of it has become Pablo’s home, and a place for his memories.