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Thursday, November 21, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Sylvanus Custer

A Stone Bridge survivor. ❤️
Johnstown Pa
Feb 13, 1964
The Jaycees
219 Franklin Street
Johnstown, Pa.
Dear Sirs:
I am sending this information for my mother, Mrs. Sylvanus Custer. Her present address is. 802 Palm St, Lantana. Fla. She is survivor of the 1889 Flood. She was living in the Rr of what is now Joseph Johns High School. She is 89 years of age, and in good health. She spent the night on the roof of her home, along with her family, before the house moved off the foundation into the mass at the stone bridge.
I am leaving for Florida in a week or so, and expect to bring her back North, about the last of April. If her health is good I know she will want to be included in the celebration of the 75th Anniversary.
I will call, when we return. I am entering her name in the 1889 Flood Survivors. My name is Mrs. William G. Horn, 1108 McKinley Ave., Johnstown, Pa. Phone 536-2155.
Yours for a successful celebration.
Mrs. William G. Horn

Courtesy of Debra Orner#Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project

The letter is not signed and she doesn't give her name, only her sister's, but I love how she gives her address - - third house from the Post Office.

Sidman, Pa. Nov. 15, 1963

Dear Sir,

I read the write up in the paper, and want to say I am a survivor of the Johnstown flood of 1889. I was born in Johnstown July 8, 1879.

We was living on Beach Street in Woodvale the time of the flood. Father, Mother and us four girls of which I and a sister Mrs. Martha Weil are the only two living. My address is Sidman Pa Box 32 third house from Post Office. My sister's address is

Mrs. Martha Weil
2820 2nd St. N.W.
Canton 8 Ohio

Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Monday, November 18, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Eunice (?) Dunmyer

Feb. 10 - 64
Dear Sir,
My oldest sister, Mrs. Eunice (?) Dunmyer who is 86 years old at present is visiting her daughter in Miami. Was a child in the path of the 1889 Flood. Her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Jos. Wolfe lived at 617 Maple Ave. & lost everything, home & all. They rushed to the hills.
She has a very keen mind. I don't know if you could entice her to fly here or not for the Flood celebration. She has not been here since about 1928 or 29. I am sending her the Jaycee blank from the Tribune. She lives in Birmingham, Ala but is with her youngest daughter now.
Mrs. B. La Pointe
5850 S. W. 84th St.
Miami., Fla. 33143
But not knowing if this information interests you or not, you can call me on phone 535-5283
Mrs. Aldaretta Rorabaugh
344 Marie St.
Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodsurvivers

Saturday, November 16, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Rhoda Hummel

Mrs. Rhoda Hummel, age 81, 698 Messenger St., phone number 535-2086, who lived on Adams Street between Main and Locust at the time of the Flood
The form indicates that she is a shut in, and the accompanying note says, "If you want to get in touch with this woman - - send a post card. She is deaf and cannot hear over the phone."

Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodproject

Friday, November 15, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Ida Graham

Seanor, Pa
Jan. 24, 1964
Survivors Committee
Johnstown, Pa.
Seeing this information coupon in the Johnstown Tribune, I am filling it out for my mother, Mrs. Ida Graham, who is making her home with me, and has for the last 8 years. Up until then she had been a lifelong resident of Coopersdale in the West End of the city.
It was here at the age of 8 years that she experienced the 1889 Johnstown Flood. She and those of her family at that time took refuge in the old school building known as the Academy, which still stands on Academy Street in Coopersdale. In 1936 she traveled practically the same route when we were flooded out then.
I hope you have a very successful celebration for the anniversary of the 1889 Flood.
Thank you,
Mrs. Paul Wiand

Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodsurvivors
Box 306, Seanor, PA.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Mabel C. Rudge

c/o Survivors Committee
Dear Sir :
I am one of the Survivors out of a family of eight children and parents.
Captain H.J. Hite and Mary J. Litz Hite
61 Dibert Street
My eldest sister, Nancy E. Hite Horner, deceased
Sarah A. Hite Himes, 900 1/2 Lemon St. Dale, 89 years
Mary E. Hite Gramling, 330 Arthur St. Dale, 87
Florence J. Hite Smith, Los Angeles, Cal., 85
Mabel C. Hite Rudge, 923 Lemon St. Dale, 83
Olive S. Hite Kurtz, Los Angeles Cal., deceased
Caroline L. Hite Rigby, R. 920 Vickroy Ave., 79
Henry J. Hite, Akron, Ohio, 77
Sorry I'm late sending this in.
Mrs. Mabel C. Rudge
923 Lemon St.
Johnstown, Pa. 15902

Courtesy of Debra Orner - Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Harry C. Allendorfer

Harry C. Allendorfer
80 Bucknell Avenue
Johnstown, Pa. 15905

Johnstown, Pa.

Re: Survivor's Committee
1889 Johnstown Flood


I was living at time of Johnstown 1889 Flood at 20 Potts Place, later named Lee Place, in a house owned by my father, John H. Allendorfer.

Family included my father mother, Mrs. Lynn Gobin (Lillie Allendorfer) sister and my sisters, Mrs. Lucy (Allendorfer, Wilson, now deceased, and Mrs. Rosa Born (Allendorfer, now residing in Sarasota, Florida. My sister, widow of Lynn Gobin, resides at 834 Edgehill Drive, Westmont.

All of the family were in the house at the time the dam burst, we did not escape. Our house floated down the Stonycreek River to the Stone Bridge, and by the arches being closed with the debris of floating homes, our house backed up and settled in the old Union graveyard on Carr Street, present location of War Memorial Building.

We were in the house until the next afternoon - - when the water receded we were able to get out of the house, and went to the Shaffer home in Frankstown. We resided there until my father rebuilt at the present location. The new house he built is still standing at the present location.

Mrs. William A. Grady (nee Annie Reese) 126 Venango Street, Westmont, is a survivor of the 1889 Johnstown Flood.

Wishing you success with your preparations for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1889 Flood.

Very truly yours,
Harry C. Allendorfer

Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Edith (Owen) John

Mrs. Edith (Owen) John, age 75, of 107 Union Street, phone number 539-4848, who lived on Union Street at the time of the Flood and spent the night in the Union Street School.

She would have been just a baby.

Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Monday, November 11, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Catherine Molton (sp?)

Catherine Molton (sp?), age 82 May 21, 1964.
55 Bertmin St., phone 266-2260, lived in Cambria City at the time of the Flood.
Jan. 4, 1964
Flood of 1889
I was born May 21, 1882
in Cambria City on Chestnut Street
Johnstown, Pa
Phone No. 266-2260

Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Sunday, November 10, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Ada Dixon

Mrs. Ada Dixon of 541 Pine Street, age 85, who lived on Bedford Street near Vine Street at the time of the Flood.

Courtesy of Debra Orner - #Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Saturday, November 9, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Lillie F. Leckey

Mrs. Lillie F. Leckey of 222 Cooper Avenue, phone number 539-9236, who lived in Lower Yoder Township at the time of the Flood.

Courtesy of Debra Orner: #Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Friday, November 8, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Della (?) Gillman

Mrs. Della (?) Gillman, age 76, born June 2, 1887. South Fork RD, Pa. Phone : 495-5119.
Living along railroad in South Fork at the time of the Flood.
"Mrs. Cora Burnheimer lived on a farm above Gramlingtown, Adams Township. They heard the dam burst. She is 82 or 83.

Courtesy of Debra Orner: #Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Thursday, November 7, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. Elizabeth Harris

Clipping: Mrs. Elizabeth Harris, age 77. I think she is saying she currently lives at 4183 W. 220 St., Cleveland, and New Florence at the time of the Flood. The phone number is 235-8301.

The letter reads:
New Florence, Pa
Feb. 3, 1964
I am Mrs. Harris' sister, Mrs. F. R. Clawson of New Florence, Pa.
My mother and two daughters were in downtown Johnstown visiting over Memorial Day in 1889.
A baby was born the night of the flood in the same house. I understand he lives in town now. He is Moses Flood Williams.
My sister knows of a man who lost his entire family. He lives in Cleveland, O. I have asked her to send me his name.
Yours truly,
Mrs. F. R. Clawson

Courtesy of Debra Orner - Jayceesfloodsurvivors

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Mrs. L.E. Storck

Feb - 4 - 64
Our home was never replaced. It was on the corner of Haynes and Somerset, across from Pickings lot. I was 14 years old at the time. I carried my step sister, who was a baby at the time to higher grounds. She was ill at the time.
I remember quite a lot.
Mrs. L. E. Storck
RD#2 Box 422
Johnstown Pa
PS--I lived in this area since the Flood.
Courtesy of Debra Orner.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors Project - Miss Linnie Smith

November 17 -- 1963

Dear Sirs--
My brother and I are survivors of the 1889 flood. We were at our grandmother's, Mrs. Malinda Smith, home 410 Vine Street the day of the flood. A freight car struck her house. My father, George W. Smith, knocked a window out and we went across the debris to the Dr. Swan's residence, where we spent the night. I have a few things that was in the flood. Among them is a receipt for leather that my grandfather bought in 1871. It is stained with flood mud. My brother Elmer Smith is 76 years old. I am 86 years old. (over)
Miss Linnie Smith
2214 Franklin St.
2nd floor
Johnstown Pa.


Courtesy of Debra Orner.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

1889 Flood Survivors - Mrs. Robert Bridges

Mrs. Robert E. Bridges Age 83
1603 S Jamestown
Tulsa Okla
I lived on Front St. Cambria City between McConaughy St. and Broad St.
My wife lived on Market St. between Washington St. and Locust St. Her maiden name was Margaret J. Stinger.
Robert E. Bridges
1603 S Jamestown
Tulsa Okla
PS - - I went down several miles below the city before I got out on the roof of the house.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Don't Go Near the Water

The day after the flood Thomas Cyner, nine of Prosser Hollow fell off Ten-Acre Bridge into the river. It required a "chain gang" of eight men to rescue Tommy, shown here as he was brought out with his aunt ready to wrap a coat around him.

Scalp Fire Company - 1907

Interesting clipping from The Weekly Tribune - August 1907 - on starting up the Scalp Level Volunteer Fire Department.
John Estep, John Veil, Mr. Brumbaugh, Theodore Bantley, Ephraim Wissinger, John Thomas and William Blough.

Trolley Time

Friday, November 1, 2019

New 1889 Flood Project - Survivors Stories


A couple of weeks ago - longtime member Debra Orner was sorting through some things in her office after a move to another building in town.

She noticed for the first time a dog-eared, beat up old envelope. Not expecting anything of great interest to be inside, She pulled out some old Trib clippings. And almost cried.

Inside--piles of forms and letters - - most of them handwritten - - from 1889 Flood survivors, telling their stories.

In 1963, the Johnstown Jaycees had launched an effort to find as many survivors as they could in anticipation of the 75th anniversary commemoration in 1964. Of course, the very great majority of the respondents were children at the time - - but a lot of them were able to share details, including their street address in 1889.
I will be posting all the letters and forms she found to this blog. I will also include #JayceesFloodSurvivors with each post so they will be easily found by search. This will take you to our Vintage Johnstown Memories page on Facebook - which is a closed group. It's an offshoot of this blog - but it does have a slightly different look and people there are always posting their own pictures of old Johnstown.

It is our hope that, in addition to honoring and keeping the memory of these survivors alive, someone out there might find a family connection – or maybe just see who used to live in your house in 1889. : o)

It's going to be a great journey - going back and hearing from the people that were there and lived to tell about it!

Circus in Town

VJ Repeat - Roxbury Park - Circus Day. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Fur Sale

August Fur Sale sign blowing in the wind on Main Street. 

Goenner - Cambria City

VJ Repeat - This is a look at the back of the Goenner Beer Company in Cambria City along Third Avenue in Cambria City. I was talking about the old brewery with a friend of mine - so I thought I'd post this shot again.