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The Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood

An in-depth history of the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood, complete with many images, both drawn and photographed, maps, and videos depicting the horrors of the flood. – On May 28, 1889, a storm formed over Nebraska and Kansas, moving east. When the storm struck the Johnstown-South Fork area two days later it was the worst downpour that had ever been recorded in that section of the country. The US Signal Service estimated that 6 to 10 inches (150 to 250 mm) of rain fell in 24 hours over the entire section. During the night small creeks became roaring torrents ripping out trees and debris. Telegraph lines were downed and rail-lines were washed out. Before daybreak the Conemaugh River that ran through Johnstown was about to leave its banks…

The Johnstown Flood by Charles Guggenheim

Documentary Series by Charles Guggenheim on the Johnstown Flood. He received an Academy Award for his depiction and recreation of the 1889 flood. The film was released in 1989, commemorating the 100th year anniversary of the event. Using archival film and photographs, this film recreates the history of the Johnstown flood which killed 2,200 people in 1889. From the development of the South Fork Hunting & Fishing Club on Lake Conemaugh to the assessment of the dam by members of the club and a concerned citizen of Johnstown to the disaster itself, this program includes the only extant photographs of life at the South Fork Hunting & Fishing Club on Lake Conemaugh during this time.   Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part...

Johnstown Flood Mosaic Gallery

The following gallery represents over 60 sketches depicting the horrors of the flood. Preparations for burial In the valley of death An engineer’s terrific race in the valley of death The lists of missing and dead Scene on South Clinton Street A crazed soldier commits suicide Firemen on duty at the bridge Mother and babe cast up by the waters Child found thumping on a wrecked piano Meeting of friends and relatives after the flood Relief for Johnstown – Pennsylvania Railroad Station, Philadelphia Swept away by the torrent Nineveh Station, where two hundred bodies were found Clearing the Cambria Iron Works Locomotives swimming in the torrent General Hastings directing the police How the Coffins Were Carried The bridge, where a thousand houses, jambed together, caught fire The Johnstown Flood The militia at rest Lynching and drowning thieves Encampment of relief parties The Break Two Hundred Feet Wide Johnstown after the Flood Rescues at the signal tower Selling damaged goods Distributing supplies to the destitute The wrecked houses burning at the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge Johnstown Flood A mother and child perish together The river bank A father’s despair at the loss of his family Swept away on the train Johnstown Flood Carrying supplies over the river Valley of the Conemaugh near Johnstown Interior of the morgue The children A railroad train delayed by the flood Distributing clothing and other supplies The remains of Cambria City Rioting A woman’s body lodged in a tree Wreck of the Day Express Carrying children to burial Contributing to the Relief Fund in Philadelphia Timely Warning to Escape. Made orphans by the flood The awful...

The North Atlantic Tsunami

Between 2007 and 2012 scholars became aware of several archives and geological records, which described a catastrophic tsunami in the North Atlantic in 1014 AD. The date is especially relevant to the study of the Track Rock terraces. Currently, the oldest radiocarbon date for an agricultural terrace at Track Rock is c. 1018 AD – which actually could be 30 years in either direction. Forensic geologist Dallas Abbott of the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University has found evidence of a large meteor or comet strike in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which hurled extraterrestrial debris over 3800 km (2361 miles) to a bog in the Black Rock Forest in New York. The material was dated to around 1014 AD. Abbot also found debris from a meteor or comet strike in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Basin that also dated to 1014 AD. It is likely that the damage wrought by this tsunami (or multiple tsunamis) was similar to the one in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. The scale of this disaster would have had a major cultural impact on the indigenous peoples of the Americas. There are stone inscriptions of a great flood along the coast of Mexico and Central America in the early 11th century AD. It is possible that the Aztec legend of the death of the Fourth Sun originated in the cataclysmic events of 1014 AD. It is also possible the evolution of Quetzalcoatl’s imagery of being a feathered serpent is linked to great comets as are the European myths about fire-breathing dragons. The tsunami caused catastrophic damage to the...

Silver City Owyhee Idaho Avalanche

Their names were: Michael Jordan A. J. Miner G. W. Chadwick Cyrus Iba William Phipps Joseph Dorsey Jerome Francisco John Moore J. R. Cain W. Churchill H. R. Wade A. J. Reynolds James Carroll William Duncan Dr A. F. Rudd F. Height W. L. Wade John Gannon M. Conner C. Ward H. W. Prindall D. P. Banes O. H. Purdy J. G. Boone W. T. Carson P. H. Gordon L. G. Gehr and 3 others. In the Silver City Owyhee Avalanche of Jan. 8, 1876, is a notice of the death of Alexander Eddington, an Englishman aged 60, a ‘pioneer of Owyhee,’ who may have been of third party. In Ballou’s Adventures, MS., Jordan’s name is given as J. P. Jordan. H. K. Wade, who was the first treasurer-elect of Owyhee co., died in 1863. William Duncan died in 1873 or 1874 in Nevada. J. R. Cain settled in Boise Valley. F. Height and G. Iba settled in Utah. O. H. Purdy remained in Owyhee County, and wrote an account of these matters on the twelfth anniversary of the discovery of the Owyhee mines, in Owyhee Silver City Avalanche, May 22, 1875. Peter McQueen, ‘one of the pioneers of the Owyhee mines,’ was killed Jan. 26, 1864, by the caving in of a tunnel on which he was working near Bannack City. ‘McQueen was formerly from Wellsville, Ohio, in Columbiana County, and was 36 years of age.’ He had returned from Owyhee to spend the winter at Boise working a claim he held at the mouth of Pearce Gulch. Boise News, Jan. 30, 1864. Michael Jordan and James Carroll...

Johnstown Flood Victims

List of dead and missing people in the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood of 1889. To find out more information about this flood, view pictures and video, visit the main page: The Johnstown Pennsylvania Horror Last Name, First, Age(if known) Address Buried Abbreviations used in the list of dead and missing: GCG:German Catholic Cemetery (Geistown) GC-PL: Grandview Cemetery Private Lot GC-PP: Grandview Cemetery Public Plot-Bodies found but not recovered by family/friends GCS: German Catholic Cemetery (Sandyvale) LYC: Lower Yoder Catholic Cemetery Missing: Body Never Recovered NCR: No Cemetery Record OCG: Old Catholic Graveyard (Conemaugh Borough) SC: Sandyvale Cemetery SM: St. Mary’s Cemetery (Lower Yoder) A Surnames Aaron, Mrs. H.B., 29 Railroad Street Loysburg, PA Aaron, Flora, 10 Railroad Street Loysburg, PA Abele, Katie, 21 Main Street Missing Abler, August, 28 Conemaugh SC Abler, Mrs. Louisa, 31 Conemaugh SC Abler, George, 11 Conemaugh SC Abler, Lulu Woodvale Missing Adams, Henry Clay (unknown) NCR Aker, Alvar, 54 Upper Yoder OCG Alberter, Anna, 22 Cambria NCR Alberter, Teresa, 3 Cambria Missing Alexander, Arailia, K. Broad Street GC-PL Alexander, John, G., 45 Woodvale Blairsville, PA Alexander, Mrs. John, G., 45 Woodvale Blairsville, PA Alexander, Mrs. Martha Main Street Missing Allison, Florence, 12 Texas Headricks, PA Allison, Mrs. Jane, 45 Pittsburgh Missing Alt, John, 65 Conemaugh Missing Alt, Teresa, 20 Conemaugh Missing Alt, George, 60 Cambria Missing Alt, Mrs. Ann, 75 Cambria Missing Amps, Mary, 11 Cambria Missing Amps, Nicodemus, 42 Cambria NCR Amps, Mrs. Teresa, 32 Cambria NCR Andrews, John, Sr., 57 John Street GC-PL Arther, Mrs. Alice, 29 Water Street GC-PL Arthur, Earl, H., 8 Water Street GC-PP Atkinson, John, 72 East Conemaugh NCR...

Millions of Money for Johnstown

Never before in our country has there been such a magnificent exhibition of public sympathy and practical charity. As the occasion was the most urgent ever known, so the response has been the greatest. All classes have come to the rescue with a generosity, a thoughtfulness and heartfelt pity sufficient to convince the most stubborn misanthrope that religion is not dead and charity has not, like the fabled gods of Greece, forsaken the earth. The following lines, cut from one of our popular journals, aptly represents the public feeling, and the warm sympathy that moved every heart: I stood with a mournful throng On the brink of a gloomy grave, In a valley where grief had found relief On the breast of an angry wave! I heard a tearful song That told of an orphan’s love–‘Twas a song of woe from the valley below, To the Father of Heaven above! ‘Twas the wail of two lonely waifs–Two children who prayed for bread! ‘Twas a pitiful cry–a mournful sigh–From the home of the silent dead! ‘Twas a sad and soulful strain; It made the teardrops start; ‘Twas an echo of pain–a weird refrain–And a song that touched my heart. Poor, fatherless, motherless waifs, Come, dry your tearful eyes! Not in vain, not in vain, have ye sung your refrain; It’s echo has pierced the skies! The angels are watching you there, For your “home” is now above, And your Father is He who forever shall be A Father of infinite love! Blest be the noble throng, With generous impulse stirred, Who are bringing relief to the Valley of Grief, Where...

A Day of Work and Worship

Governor Beaver has assumed the command. He arrived in Johnstown yesterday, the 8th, and will take personal charge of the work of clearing the town and river. For that purpose $1,000,000 from the State Treasury will be made available immediately. This action means that the State will clear and clean the town. It was a day of prayer but not a day of rest in Johnstown. Faith and works went hand in hand. The flood-smitten people of the Conemaugh, though they met in the very path of the torrent that swept their homes and families into ruin, offered up their prayers to Almighty God and besought His divine mercy. But all through the ruin-choked city the sound of the pick and the shovel mingled with the voice of prayer, and the challenge of the sentinel rang out above the voice of supplication. There was no cessation in the great task the flood has left them with its legacy of woe. Four charges of dynamite last night completed the wreck of the Catholic Church of St. John, which had been left by the flood in a worthless but dangerous condition. The thousands of laborers continued their work just as on any week day, except that there was no dynamite used on the gorge and that the Cambria Iron Works were closed. There was the usual reward of the gleaners in the harvest-field of death, fifty eight bodies having been recovered. The most of those have been in Stony Creek, up which they were carried by the back rush of the current after the bridge broke the first wave. Roman Catholic...

A Walk Through the Valley of Death

In the following graphic narrative one of the eye-witnesses of the fearful ruin and slaughter represents himself as a guide, and if the reader will consider himself as the party whom the guide is conducting, a vivid impression of the scene of the great destruction may be obtained. “Hello, where on earth did you come from? And what are you doing here, anyhow? Oh! you just dropped in to see the sights, eh? Well, there are plenty of them and you won’t see the like of them again if you live a century. What’s that? You have been wandering around and got tangled up in the ruins and don’t know where you are? Well, that’s not strange. I have been lost myself a dozen times. It’s a wonder you haven’t got roasted by some of those huge bonfires. But here, you come with me. Let me be your guide for the afternoon and I’ll put you in the way of seeing what is left of Johnstown. “First, let’s climb up this bluff just before us and we shall have a first-rate view of things. Skip across this little temporary bridge over this babbling brook and now–climb! Whew! that takes your breath, doesn’t it? But it is worth the trouble. Now you see we are standing on an embankment perhaps thirty feet high. We are in the midst, too, of a lot of tents. It is here that the soldier boys are encamped. Off to one side you see the freight depot of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the tracks, you notice, run along on the top of this embankment. It...

One Week After the Great Disaster

By slow degrees and painful labor the barren place where Johnstown stood begins again to look a little like the habitations of a civilized community. Daily a little is added to the cleared space once filled with the concrete rubbish of this town, daily the number of willing workers who are helping the town to rise again increases. To-day the great yellow plain which was filled with the best business blocks and residences before the flood is covered with tents for soldiers and laborers and gangs of men at work. The wrecks are being removed or burned up. Those houses which were left only partially destroyed are beginning to be repaired. Still, it will be months, very likely years, before the pathway of the flood ceases to be perfectly plain through the town. Its boundaries are as plainly marked now as if drawn on a map; where the flood went it left its ineffaceable track. Nearly one-half of the triangle in which Johnstown stood is plainly marked, one angle of the triangle pointing to the east and directly up the Conemaugh Valley, from which the flood descended. Its eastern side was formed by the line of the river. The second angle pointed toward the big stone arch bridge, which played such an important part in the tragedy. The western ran along the base of the mountain on the bank of Stony Creek, and the third angle was toward Stony Creek Valley. Miles of Buildings in the Wreck Imagine that before the flood this triangle was thickly covered with houses. The lower or northern part was filled with solid business...
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