Remains of Old Town Reemerge as Folsom Lake Shrinks

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What do you call a marina with no water in it?

“It’s almost as low as I’ve ever seen it,” long-time neighbor Frank Wilcox said Thursday.

The City of Folsom is calling that a critical situation.

They’ve already imposed restrictions on landscape watering as Folsom Lake, at one fifth its total capacity, is on the verge of breaking a record for low water levels.

Now, citing the driest year in more than 100 years of record keeping, the County of Sacramento is asking its residents to search for ways they can lower their water use by 20 percent.

Meanwhile, people are taking advantage of the rapidly growing shoreline by the lake. As the water goes down, the metal detectors come out.

In the late 1800’s, a mining village called Mormon Island was located at the foot of what would become Folsom Lake.  By design, when the American River was dammed, the new lake swallowed-up Mormon Island.

But now, the receding water line has spit the muddy rubble of the village back onto that growing shoreline.

For amateur archaeologists, it’s a rare opportunity. Especially in a time when more traditional forms of winter fun just aren’t the same.

“Usually we would be up the hill, skiing or snowboarding- enjoying the snow pack. But it’s just not there this year,” said one woman, walking the beach with a metal detector.

I near 70 degree day on the beach in the last week of December isn’t a bad substitute. And it’s easy to feel like this is in a crisis. At least, not yet.

In Case You Missed It:

Hope Grows for Finding Lost Plane, Brother’s remains, as Lake Recedes

Low Lake Levels Reveals Car

What is Mormon Island?

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