Planning with Museum Collections

Artifacts and Stories of Johnstown's Floods

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The primary goal of the new exhibition is to tell the personal stories of both survivors and victims of Johnstown’s Floods.

The new Johnstown Flood Museum will contain a variety of artifacts, photographs, and documents that have been donated to the Museum over the years.

Victims of the Johnstown Flood of 1889

The Museum has a limited collection of photographs of victims of the Johnstown Flood.

[Jenny Ogden; Minnie Harris; Bess Fronheiser (right) with cousin; Charles Alfred Marshall; John Dibert; Rose Hower]

Accounts of the 1889 Flood

JAHA is currently working with University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown students to transcribe letters, diaries, and other accounts of the 1889 Flood.  This is a sampling of those letters.

[D. Williams Letter Page 1; N. Fulton Account Page 1; George Statler Letter Page 1]

Relics of the 1889 Flood

After the Flood, hundreds of objects were collected from the debris by both residents and visitors to the City.  JAHA began collecting 1889 Flood relics in the 1970s, when the organization was founded.

[Padlock, Adams Express Co.; St. Joseph, St. Mary German Catholic Church; Silver-Plated Serving Tray; Clockface (stopped May 31, 1889)]

1936 Flood Photographs

These photographs are a sampling of various scenes around Johnstown during the 1936 Flood.  Photographers include Russell H. Heffley, L. D. McCready, Hornick & Langer, and Rock Photo of Somerset, and are noted in writing on the front of photographs.  The majority of these photograph collections have come from the following donors: Irving London, Ruth & Paul Orns, Charles Foster, Vernon Appel, and Hermine Anderson.

Accounts of the 1936 Flood

These letters are a sampling of a collection of accounts written by Joseph Johns Junior High School students after the March 17, 1936 Flood.

[John Duca Account; John Dynice Account; Clem Rolling Account; Henry Dickert Account]

1977 Flood Photographs

These photographs are a small sample of the large collection of photographs that JAHA has that were taken by Merle Agnello of the Tribune-Democrat.

[Amish volunteers; PA National Guard dispenses canned water; Debris at Woodvale Bridge; Collapsed section of 56; Messenger St. Rushing Water; Ohio St. (Moxham)]