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16 THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD.

ous. Conemaugh nestles at the very foot of the Alleghenies; all railroad trains eastward bound stop there to catch their breath before beginning the long climb up to Altoona. Sang Hollow nestles by the river amid almost tropical luxuriance of vegetation; yon little wooded islet in mid-stream a favorite haunt of fishermen. Nineveh is rich in bog iron and coal, and the whirr of the mill-wheel is heard. Johnstown, between the two creeks at their junction, is the queen city of the valley. On either side the creek, and beyond, the steep mountain sides; behind, the narrow valley reaching twenty miles back to the lake; before, the Conemaugh river just beginning its romantic course. Broken hillsides streaked with torrents encompass it. Just a century ago was Johnstown founded by one Joseph Johns, a German settler. Before then its beauteous site was occupied by an Indian village, Kickenapawling. Below this was the head of navigation on the Conemaugh. Hither came the wagoners of the Alleghenies, with huge wains piled high with merchandise from seaboard cities, and placed it on flat-bottomed boats and started it down the river-way to the western markets. The merchandise came up from Philadelphia and Baltimore by river, too; up the Susquehanna and Juniata, to the eastern foot-hills, and there was a great portage from the Juniata to the Conemaugh; the Kittanning Trail, then the Franks-


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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen