Wednesday, November 7, 2012

History of 1913 Flood at Library

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy everyone is painfully aware of the terrible destruction caused by flood waters. Just before the storm hit the eastern seaboard on October 29th the Greenville Public Library was offered an extremely interesting book on the Great Flood of 1913 which struck Dayton and the Miami Valley. It’s called And Through the Black Night of Terror, The 1913 Flood In the Northern Miami Valley by Scott Trostle.

Most people remember seeing pictures of Dayton from late March, 1913 - Main Street flooded, water up to the second stories of buildings, the rubble and debris that was left. It’s also well known that the recovery efforts were led by John Patterson of NCR and that the Miami Conservancy District was formed to protect the region from future floods.

But little has been known of the effects of the 1913 Flood in the northern Miami Valley including the counties of Miami, Shelby, Darke, Champaign, and Logan. Now Scott’s meticulously researched book fills that gap in history with a day-by-day narrative and many never-before-seen pictures and maps.

Roads, homes, businesses, factories, power stations, and railways were under water; 264 bridges collapsed; fresh water was not available nor any communications. 72 people drowned and 1000’s of livestock. “It was the worst-ever disaster to visit the northern Miami Valley.” As in Dayton there were many stories of rescue and heroism. The clean-up and restoration took at least ten years.

Scott Trostle is an area historian who’s written 44 books. More about the book can be found at or come to the Library to check out this great addition to our local history collection.

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