Photos: How teens helped save Stillwater from historic flooding 54 years ago


Encroaching flood waters, Teenager's Dike and downtown Stillwater.
1 Encroaching floodwaters, Teenager's Dike and downtown Stillwater are seen from a hill above town in the 1965 photograph. 
A house on the wrong side of the dike is overcome by floodwaters.
2 A house on the wrong side of the dike is overcome by floodwaters in Stillwater in 1965. 
Two men ride a tractor through floodwaters.
3 Two men ride a tractor through floodwaters in Stillwater in 1965. Bob Peulen, whose father took the photograph, couldn't remember what the tractor was used for. 
Downtown Stillwater, Minn., and the dike that protected the town.
4 Downtown Stillwater and the dike that protected the town from the St. Croix River are seen from Pioneer Park. The record flood levels haven't been matched in 54 years. 
People stand on top of Teenager's Dike.
5 People stand on top of Teenager's Dike in Stillwater during the historic 1965 floods. High school students were let out of school to help build the dike. Bob Peulen, then 20, was on spring break from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., at the time. He says his then 15-year-old brother was upset that he wasn't let out school to help. 
Volunteers fortify a dike in Stillwater.
6 Volunteers fortify a dike on the banks of the St. Croix River using a tractor and other tools. 
Men stack sandbags on a wall.
7 Men stack sandbags into a wall in April of 1965 in preparation for flooding. Most of the community came together to build a wall that would be named "Teenager's Dike," including college students, high schoolers and even inmates from Stillwater State Correctional Facility. "They were happy to do it," Bob Peulen said of the inmates. 
The view of Stillwater from Pioneer Park in 1965.
8 Stillwater is seen from Pioneer Park during the 1965 flooding. 
Sandbags protect Stillwater businesses from the flooding.
9 Piles of sandbags line businesses in downtown Stillwater before the historic flooding of the St. Croix River. The National Guard closed downtown for a number of days before the floods. During flooding, manholes shot up into the air because of the change in water pressure, according to Bob Peulen. 
People stand on Teenager's Dike.
10 People stand on Teenager's Dike near downtown Stillwater in 1965. The dike was 8 feet high and nearly a mile long and spared downtown Stillwater from record flooding. According to Bob Peulen, the British band The Kinks played a show inside the Stillwater Armory for all of the teens who helped build the dike. 
A Teenager's Dike commemorative coin.
11 A commemorative coin was given to all of the teenagers who helped build Teenager's Dike. The dike helped save downtown Stillwater from historic flooding when the river crested at 694 feet above sea level on April 18, 1965.