1913 Delaware Ohio Flood

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Quoted from a 1913 publication of photos of the flood and its aftermath. 

    " Eighteen lives lost: a property loss of over a million dollars; a business loss that is not to be estimated; 214 families bereft of all or much of their possessions; 41 costly bridges in the county including all in the city, washed away; a city isolated and restored for a time to primitive conditions, no light, heat and water services.

    This, in a word, sums up the effects of the most disastrous event in the history of Delaware, - the flood of March 25, 1913. Its total effects were too far-reaching for their story to be told in detail.

    The water reached a height of 32 feet, 23 feet above the flood stage and 11 feet higher than the Olentagy's previous record made in 1884. Ordinarily an uneventful stream, 250 feet wide, it became a raging torrent measuring 3380 feet at William Street, where the water of Delaware Run also had its effect. For the first time in its history, a part of Sandusky Street was submerged, the water reaching the height of eight feet on the street.

    Heroic rescues were made and the citizens rallied quickly to the work at hand. By nine o'clock on the flood day an organization had been effected, and there has not been a moment's delay in meeting the problems created by the disaster. Plans are now being formed for widening the river, solving the railway problems, and rebuilding the destroyed property. No city in Ohio has shown better ability to handle its problems than Delaware. 

    The heaviest loss of life fell on the families of Frank Melching and Silas Smith, whose homes were swept away in the flood. Mr. and Mrs. Meching and four of their eight choldern, Jessie 17, Nellie 11, Ralph 6, and Louie 3; Mrs. Smith and three children, Esther, Helen, and Earl, were lost. Others drowned were Hazel Dunlap 22, Mrs. Gertrude Slawson 21, Esther Jones 16, Henry Felding, C.E. Tibbals ans son Clyde, F.L. Volk and William Hessey"


Downtown during the height of the flood.

Canoeing down Sandusky, near the intersection with William St. Note the meal 25 cents sign out front of the approximate location of the Hamburger Inn.


I think that this is Winter and Union St. of note in this photo is the carriage - when zoomed in you can see that is says ambulance on the side. The tower of the YMCA a building is just visible in the upper left corner.


Looking southeast from the courthouse. 


Lincoln looking east through the Sandusky intersection - notice the street car tracks! 


Railroad bridge after the flood waters receded some.

Another view of the compromised Big Four bridge after the flood waters receded.


Railroad bridge at the hight of the flood, of interest part of a house rushing by and the crowed of onlookers on the embankment on the west side of the river. 


Cable crossing of the railroad bridge.


Rebuilding the railroad bridge. 


The West side of South Sandusky St. Would appear that this photo was taken from the second story of the Delaware Underwear company building. 


South Sandusky St. looking north. 


Campus after the flood waters recessed some. 


Union St looking south from William St. 


Union St. looking north. 


Crowd of onlookers at near the Delaware Livery, West side of the river (Winter St.) rescue in process

These are the buildings visible in the distance of the previous photo, notice the number of people on the roofs.


Another shot from the same time. 


Another view near the livery buildings. 


Detail of the same shot as above. 


This is an actual photo, not postcard. It appears to be looking from just north of where Winter St. crossed the river. Visible in the upper left corner is the tower of the Big Four train depot, closer to the river are a couple buildings that survived that are nearly completely underwater in the above to pictures.


This photo was labeled Winter and Central, obviously this is not correct. Perhaps it was on Estelle between Winter and Central, though from the angle it looks to be Winter looking west towards the river.

Another view of the home in card above to the left. The back of this card indicates that the two children pictured are Howard Benson Britton and Jack Houghton, but still does not indicate location.


Damage to the bridges was extensive and severely limited transportation of much needed supplies. 


Work on the William St. bridge. 


I can't identify the location of this photo. It seems to be a street that runs East / West and looking towards the river (judging by the water line on the houses.)


The Zion Reform Church, previously located just east of Saint Mary's, the photo was taken after the flood waters recessed. 


Similar shot as above with St. Mary's in the background. 



Two more images of the Zion Reform Church (one is a close up of the other.) 


The YMCA building on Winter St. served as the relief headquarters. 





Four views of the destruction after the flood. 


Indicated as east being located on East Winter - the building the left was previously not attached to the houses on the right hand side.

The writing on the back of this says it is located on East Central.

These last two photos are of the Cyclone (tornado) that hit Delaware a year prior to the flood.

this photo is only identified as cyclone damage Delaware, Ohio - I can't identify the specific church, it looks very similar to William Street, but the windows and some details don't match other photos.