Friday, March 22, 2013

Flood photo

March newsletter

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the 1913 flood. There has been a lot of coverage on television and books have been written about it. There are photos on our Facebook page. You need to be on Facebook yourself to see it. There are memories by people who lived through it on the Ft. Loramie News blog.
There are plans to place a plaque on our barn on Elm Street marking the Buckeye Trail which goes right past there. Many have hiked the trail which is marked with blue blazes on trees and poles.

Tom Busse has been at work. He painted and rearranged the shelves in the doll room and did the same with the Civil War case in the military room. When he took the paper off the inside of the case he found it had been painted in 1970's harvest gold.  Mercifully it has been redone in white.  The roof on the old part of the building has been replaced.  Plans have been made to replace the curtains in the parlor which have been there since we acquired the building forty years ago.

Al Freytag, a long-time member of the historical association has passed away.  He and Mrs. Freytag have always been generous benefactors of our organization and many others.

Mary Oldiges, curator of the museum in Minster, is doing their display this year on the businesses that are and were on Fourth St.  One of them was the Bornhorst Shoe Store. We have artifacts from that store so we are loaning some of them to Minster for the summer.  Mary said she is impressed that Fort Loramie still has most of its old buildings intact. 

We still have copies of our latest book, Fort Loramie Main Street and Beyond.  It costs $35 plus tax.  You can get your copy at the Silver Cross in Fort Loramie or call one of the officers. 

If you would like to join the Fort Loramie Historical Association the dues are $10.  Call Sheila Quinlin at 937-295-4019.  We are also happy to accept donations.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The 1913 flood

In Ft. Loramie flood waters took out the aquaduct and water was up to the swing bridge at Elm St. Mrs. Mary Fortman who lived just south of where the golf course is now said the water was up to their garden and they could take a boat and row all the way to Ft. Loramie 2 miles away.

According to Scott Trostel in his book, "water in the Loramie Reservoir had risen so rapidly that the feeder was overflowing by four feet. There was a growing fear the bulkhead on the west end of the reservoir would let go. Mr. J. Pauwell, caretaker at the reservoir engaged a large number of men, estimated at between 50 and 60, to fill sacks with sand and dirt which was used to reinforce the levee bank. Their work was dangerous and they were in peril of being swept into flood waters at any moment. It was said that had this precaution not been taken there was not the least doubt that the whole bank in the vicinity of the feeder would have been washed away and probably the larger part of Fort Loramie would have been drowned with water."

There was flooding from Indianapolis to Pittsburgh and north to Lima and south to the Ohio River but the towns that suffered most were Dayton, Piqua and Troy.

The flooding was caused by 3 days of rain from March 21 to 24th. Easter Sunday was March 23. 8 to 11 inches of rain fell on the Great Miami River watershed. The ground was frozen and saturated resulting in 90% runoff.

In Dayton flood waters reached 20 feet in the downtown. Wikipedia says 360 people died, 20,000 houses were destroyed and damage reached 100 million dollars. The National Guard was unable to reach the town for days. Houses floated away with people on the roofs.

In Piqua 39 people died. 17 died in Troy. In Sidney the Big 4 bridge was in danger of floating away. A train was pulled onto it to hold it down.

Towns were isolated. Trains didn't run. Roads were closed. Bridges were washed out. Newspapers couldn't publish. People had no heat or food.

The flood effectively put an end to the canal and gave birth to the Miami Conservancy District.

For thrilling stories of rescues and photos see Scott Trostel's book, "And Through The Black Night of Terror". Some of it is on line.

The Great Dayton Flood, Wikipedia

Saturday, March 2, 2013

1946-47 Ft. Loramie basketball team

L-R, Gene Hoying, Bill Peterson, Harry Frilling, Paul Ahlers,  Maurice Brandewie, Norman Paulus, Remy Beaver, Marion Paulus.