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170 THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD.

A hay-rick, half ashes, stood near the centre of the gorge. Workmen who dug about it to-day found a chicken coup, and in it two chickens, not only alive but clucking happily when they were released. A woman's hat, half burned; a reticule, with part of a hand still clinging to it; two shoes and part of a dress told the story of one unfortunate's death. Close at hand a commercial traveler had perished. There was his broken valise, still full of samples, fragments of his shoes, and some pieces of his clothing.
    Scenes like these were occurring all over the charred field where men were working with pick and axe and lifting out the poor, shattered remains of human beings, nearly always past recognition or identification, except by guess-work, or the locality where they were found. Articles of domestic use scattered through the rubbish helped to tell who some of the bodies were. Part of a set of dinner plates told one man where in the intangible mass his house was. In one place was a photograph album with one picture still recognizable. From this the body of a child near by was identified. A man who had spent a day and all night looking for the body of his wife, was directed to her remains by part of a trunk lid.


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