The Great Dayton Flood of 1913
Beginning on Easter Sunday, March 23, 1913, torrential rains across the Midwest dropped a record three months of rainfall in four days. Floodwaters funneled down Ohio's Miami Valley into the heart of the vibrant industrial city of Dayton. Levees burst, houses were swept away, and downtown was gutted by fires blazing from broken gas mains. At the end of Easter week, nearly 100 Daytonians had perished, and tens of thousands more were left homeless and destitute--a tragedy that made banner headlines in newspapers nationwide. Out of Dayton's ashes and mud rose fierce public resolve never again to suffer such destruction. The Great Dayton Flood of 1913 reproduces some 200 astounding photographs from the collections of the Dayton Metro Library and the Miami Conservancy District and the archives of the National Cash Register Company at Dayton History. They portray the terrifying flood, monumental destruction, heroic rescues, and compassionate leadership that occurred during the disaster and its immediate aftermath, as well as the pioneering flood-control engineering that has kept Dayton safe ever since.
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Archive at Dayton atop Barney and Smith boat Camp Rhoads cars clean conduits construction corner Courtesy Dayton Citizens Dayton flood Dayton History Dayton Metro Library Dayton Paper Novelty debris downstream downtown Dayton earthen dams East Third Street Edgemont engineer Englewood Dam Erie Canal fairgrounds feet Fifth Street five-globe streetlamp flexible revetments flood victims flood-control floor flow foreground Fourth Street freight homes houses hydraulic jump Jefferson Street John H levees Ludlow Street Mad River Main Street March 25 martial law massive Miami and Erie Miami Conservancy District Miami River Miami Valley Hospital Monument Avenue National Cash Register NCR Archive NCR Building NCR's North Dayton northwest nose walls Note Ohio governor James Paper Novelty Company Patterson photograph railroad railway Relief Committee rescue Rike Kumler Riverdale roof side spillway Stillwater River Street Bridge submerged Taylorsville Dam Tuesday Webster Street wires Wolf Creek Wood