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estimate, there were 300 houses in Woodvale. There were also a woolen mill, a flour mill, the Gautier Barb Wire Mills of the Cambria Iron Company, and the tannery of W. H. Rosenthal & Co. Only the flour mill and the middle section of the bridge remain. The flat is bare otherwise. The stables of the Woodvale Horse Railroad Company went out with the water; every horse and car in them went also
    The change was wrought in five minutes. Robert Miller, who lost two of his children and his mother-in-law, thus describes the scene: "I was standing near the Woodvale Bridge, between Maple avenue and Portage street, in Johnstown. The river was high, and David Lucas and I were speculating about the bridges, whether they would go down or not. Lucas said, 'I guess this bridge will stand; it does not seem to be weakened.' Just then we saw a dark object up the river. Over it was a white mist. It was high and somehow dreadful, though we could not make it out. Dark smoke seemed to form a background for the mist. We did not wait for more. By instinct we knew the big dam had burst and its water was coming upon us. Lucas jumped on a car horse, rode across the bridge, and went yelling into Johnstown. The flood overtook him, and he had to abandon his horse and climb a high hill.

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen