Sept. 5, 1925, must have been another beautiful late summer day in the bustling new community at the mouth of a canyon called Squilchuck. Where the trickling creek flowed into the Columbia, the Great Northern had built a huge switching facility called the Appleyard. Nearby were two hotels filled with workers, a tourist campground near the highway, a cafe, a grocery store, a post office, and new houses leading up the valley, where the orchards were nearly ready for harvest.
Around 3 p.m. the irrigation district noticed rising waters in the canal, a sign of heavy rain somewhere. Not much later, guests at the Terminal Hotel stood on the porch to watch as thunderclaps told of storm hitting the crest of the Wenatchee Mountains to the west. It was entertainment. Their view of the canyon was blocked by the Springwater Hotel next door.