You are here:  Cambria > Books > History of the Johnstown Flood

THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD. 425

passed the saw-mill that, by forming a dam, is responsible for the loss of the Williamsport bridges. The river looked very wild, but Superintendent Westfall and I crossed it in two boats. It is nearly half a mile across. Both boats were carried soma distance and nearly upset. It was odd, after wading through mud into the town, to find all Williamsport knowing little or nothing about Johnstown or what had been happening elsewhere. Mr. Westfall was beset by thousands asking about friends on the other side, and inquiring when food can be got through.
    "The loss is awful. There have not been many buildings in the town carried off, but there are few that have not been damaged. There is mourning everywhere for the dead. Men look serious and worn, and every one is going about splashed with mud. The mayor, in his address, says: `Send us help at once--in the name of God, at once. There are hundreds utterly destitute. They have lost all they had, and have no hope of employment for the future. Philadelphia should, if possible, send provisions. Such a thing as a chicken is unknown here. They were all carried off. It is hard to get anything to eat for love or money. Flour is needed worse than anything else.'
    "I gave away a cooked chicken and sandwiches that I had with me to two men who had had noth-


Previous page Title Page Contents Image Index Next page

Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
Copyright 2001, All Rights Reserved
Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen