Digging for the Dead

Map of the Conemaugh Valley

A party started in early exploring the huge mass of d├ębris banked against the Pennsylvania Railroad bridge. This collection, consisting of trees, sides of houses, timber and innumerable articles, varies in thickness from three or four feet to twenty feet. It is about four hundred yards long, and as wide as the river. There are



Pathetic Scenes

Child found thumping on a wrecked piano

Some of the really pathetic scenes of the flood are just coming to the public ear. John Henderson, his wife, his three children, and the mother of Mrs. Henderson remained in their house until they were carried out by the flood, when they succeeded in getting upon some drift. Mr. Henderson took the babe from



New Tales of Horror

Map of Johnstown Flood

The accounts contained in the foregoing chapters bring this appalling story of death down to June 4th. We continue the narrative as given from day to day by eye-witnesses, as this is the only method by which a full and accurate description of Johnstown’s unspeakable horror can be obtained. On the morning of June 5th



Thrilling Experiences

An engineer's terrific race in the valley of death

JOHNSTOWN, Pa., June 3, 1889.–Innumerable tales of thrilling individual experiences, each one more horrible than the others, are told. Frank McDonald, a conductor on the Somerset branch of the Baltimore and Ohio, was at the Pennsylvania Railroad depot in this place when the flood came. He says that when he first saw the flood it



View of the Wreck

Johnstown Flood

Each visitor to the scene of the great disaster witnessed sights and received impressions different from all others. The following graphic account will thrill every reader: The most exaggerative imagination cannot too strongly picture the awful harvest of death, the wreck which accompanied that terrible deluge last Friday afternoon. I succeeded in crossing from the



Johnstown and Its Industries

Johnstown Flood image46

At this point of our narrative a sketch of Johnstown, where the most frightful havoc of the flood occurred, will interest the reader. The following description and history of the Cambria Iron Company’s Works, at Johnstown, is taken from a report prepared by the State Bureau of Industrial Statistics: The great works operated by the



Burial of the Victims

Distributing supplies from the relief train

Hundreds have been laid away in shallow trenches without forms, ceremonies or mourners. All day long the work of burial has been going on. There was no time for religious ceremonies or mourning and many a mangled form was coffined with no sign of mourning save the honest sympathy of the brave men who handled



Shadows of Despair

The Village of Johnstown before the Flood

Another graphic account of the fearful calamity is furnished by an eye-witness: The dark disaster of the day with its attendant terrors thrilled the world and drew two continents closer together in the bonds of sympathy that bind humanity to man. The midnight terrors of Ashtabula and Chatsworth evoked tears of pity from every fireside



The Awful Work of Death

Johnstown Flood image38

The record of June 3rd continues as follows: The horror of the situation does not lessen. The latest estimate of the number of dead is an official one by Adjutant General Hastings, and it places the number between 12,000 and 15,000. The uncovering of hundreds of bodies by the recession of the waters has already



Multiplication of Terrors

The Johnstown Flood

The handsome brick High School Building is damaged to such an extent that it will have to be rebuilt. The water attained the height of the window sills of the second floor. Its upper stories formed a refuge for many persons. All Saturday afternoon two little girls could be seen at the windows frantically calling



Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.

Connect With Us!

Pin It on Pinterest