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Since we are living in Central PA for the year, we took an opportunity to visit a historical site nearby – the Johnstown National Flood Memorial.  The memorial isn’t in Johnstown, but is about 10 miles down the road – at the source of the problem.  Pictured below is the museum that we walked through and saw the haunting video telling the story of the flood.


These buildings sit overlooking what was once a man-made lake.


The walkway in the image was part of the damn that held in the water.  When it busted, tons and tons of water came rushing down stream, with immense force, crushing everything in its path and killing 2,209 people.

Now it’s a peaceful place where you can reflect on the failure of humanity trying to manipulate nature to do humanity’s bidding without regard for others.

Inside the museum, you can read the timeline of events, see historical images, and experience the 20-minute movie (which freaked my younger children out).  And you can see some reconstructed things to show the effects of the flood, like this:

The flood was a true tragedy.   No one ever took the blame for the destruction, even though the damn had not been cared for as it should of.  There were too many VIPs involved.  It would have gotten ugly I guess.  Never mind that people died.

At any rate, follow me as I take you through the path of the flood down to Johnstown over the next couple of travel posts.