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Penn State University Libraries

The Johnstown Flood, Part of PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf

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The Johnstown Flood of 1889 was one of the greatest disasters in American History, it stunned the nation and was the biggest news story after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Over two-thousand inhabitants perished, sixteen hundred homes were lost and nearly twenty million dollars of damage resulted from the flood. The Conemaugh Lake, a pleasure lake for the prestigious South Fork Hunting and Fishing club, broke the South Fork dam sending water and miles of debri down onto the inhabitants of Johnstown. The accumulated wreckage collected against the Pennsylvania Railroad Company's Stony Bridge, starting a fire compounding the disaster. The material collect here is comprised of digital books composed of microfilmed images from the PA's Past: Digital Bookshelf collection and reflects reminiscences of the disaster, and varies greatly in style and attention to historical accuracy. The titles represent a rare gathering of affecting impressions of the tragedy, providing insight into the reception of the events and their understanding.