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History of the Johnstown Flood
called a pond. I doubt it there is a man or woman in Johnstown who at some time or other had not feared and spoken of the terrible disaster that has now come.
“People wondered, and asked why the dam was not strengthened, as it certainly had become weak; but nothing was done, and by and by they talked less and less about it, as nothing happened, though now and then some would shake their heads as if conscious the fearful day would come some time when their worst fears would be transcended by the horror of the actual occurrence.”
There is not a shadow of doubt but that the citizens of Cambria County frequently complained, and that at the time the dam was constructed a vigorous effort was made to put a stop to the work. It is true that the leader in this movement was not a citizen of Johnstown, but he was and is a large mine owner in Cambria County. His mine adjoins the reservoir property. He was frequently on the spot, and his own engineer inspected the work. He says the embankment was principally of shale and clay, and that straw was used to stop the leaking of water while the work was going on. He called on the sheriff of Cambria County and told him it was his duty to apply to the court for an injunction. The sheriff promised to give the matter his attention, but, instead of going before court, went to the Cambria Company for consul-
30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen