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76 THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD.

to the right into Stony Creek Gap. The fringe along the Pennsylvania Railroad is mostly of stores and other large brick buildings that are completely wrecked, though not swept away. The houses on the higher ground are unharmed; but down toward the edge they fade away by degrees of completeness in their wreckage into the yellow level of the huge tract over which the mighty whirlpool swept. Off out of sight, in Stony Creek Gap, are fringes of houses on either side of the muddy flat.
    "This flat is a peculiar thing. It is level and uninteresting as a piece of waste ground. Too poor to grow grass, there is nothing to indicate that it had ever been anything else than what it is. It is as clean of debris and wreckage as though there had never been a building on it. In reality it was the central and busiest part of Johnstown. Buildings, both dwellings and stores, covered it thickly. Its streets were paved, and its sidewalks of substantial stone. It had street-car lines, gas and electric lights, and all the other improvements of a substantial city of 15,000 or 20,000 inhabitants. Iron bridges spanned the streams, and the buildings were of substantial character. Not a brick remains, not a stone nor a stick of timber in all this territory. There are not even hummocks and mounds to show where wreckage might be covered with a layer of mud. They are not there, they are


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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury and Diann Olsen