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High Waters - 1846 ( more details)

Flooding 1846 Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


High Waters.

The heavy rains of Saturday, Sunday and Monday last, caused a tremendous rise in the waters of this section of country. The River, the Conococheague, the Antietam, and other smaller streams were swollen to an extend equal to that in June last, and we understand, though we have been able to gather but few particulars, that a considerable amount of damage has been sustained, in the destruction of Bridges, Dams, &,c, upon their courses. A gentleman has informed us that the Dam of Mr. Emory Edwards, in the Valley, was swept off, a Stone Bridge on the Little Antietam, near Keedy's store between Sharpsburg and Boonsboro’ was carried away, together with a Wooden Bridge upon the same stream at another point, and that the waters were prodigiously high and violent in the lower section of the County. The Antietam in this neighborhood was higher than it had been for years, but very little property, we believe, was injured upon its course.

Since the above was prepared, we have received the following particular from an extra of the Boonsboro’ Odd Fellow:

At Keedysville, three miles from here, the bridge over the Antietam on the pike between Sharpsburg and this place, was swept entirely away. Another large stone bridge at the same place was partly carried off. The dam at Mr. Watson's mill was entirely destroyed. Another bridge half a mile below was also destroyed. Spring-houses, Wash-houses, Hog-pens, fences, &c, were swept off. Indeed nothing escaped that it came in contact with so violent was the current. The water rose as high as to the second story of several houses in this place, and in one instance it was with difficulty that life was saved. The furniture got out and was dashed to atoms among the drift. The water was never known to overflow to such an extent in this place before. It reached the second story of Mr. James' Woolen Factory and done him much damage. His carding machine in the second story was under water. It is estimated that not less than 50 wagon loads of good rails went down the creek.

The damage done in and about Keedysville will amount to between $1000 and $2000.

In this place the water flowed freely and our streets could easily have been navigated; no damage done over and above a few cellars filled. A small stream near this place is swollen to an enormous height, and which destroyed Mr Davis’ mill [?] near town. Mr. [?] had 100 bushels of fine apples that was lying in his meadow carried off. A number of persons about half a mile down this stream were busily engaged in catching them in fish nets, handkerchiefs, &c. as they floated along.

The Antietam has not been so high since 1823 and was never known to transcend its bounds so far. This obscure stream looked quite as important as the Potomac.

A number of bridges about Rohrersville, six miles from this place were washed away.

We learn from the Williamsport Times that the bottoms all along the course of the Potomac,
which were sown in Wheat have been ruined. It is yet impossible to report the damage done to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, as the waters at the time of writing this article (Tuesday evening,) maintain a considerable height, though fears are entertained that it has been vastly injured.


Herald of Freedom

The same newspaper had a brief article elsewhere in the paper that read "We have just been informed by a gentleman from Williamsport that the Canal, though considerably injured, it is thought will again be navigable in one week."


Collection Location:

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (Md.); Washington County (Md.), History

Maryland, 1824-1938

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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