Williamsport residents recall the flood, 3
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Interview conducted at Homewood, Williamsport, March 11, 2011. Interviewer - John Frye. Interviewees - Sue Hoch, Robert May, Jack Myers, Charles South, and Maurice Snyder.
Maurice: Coming from 68 going down the hill and upwards Clear Spring, you know where the Western Maryland railroad was, and the station down there, the station was covered, and the water coming up Hospital Hill and Joe Grove Hill trying to equalize itself out there, as I say, we were an island, the whole place was an island and the houses at the creek bridge at the far end , all of those houses up to, lot of people remember Kaplan’s store, places like that in there. But water was in all of the houses to the second floor. Some of them had the third floor starting to flood. As you went up the hill it started to diminish a little bit. But the height of it was in the center that it was Walter Hoffman’s house up on the left and the farm there in the house up to the second floor, wasn’t it, Jack, where Johnie Hoffman and them all lived
John: There where Kaplan’s store was located, did it get into the building?
Maurice: Oh yes.
John: And you gentlemen, where were you and how did it affect you at the height of the flood?
Charlie: I didn’t live in town, so I wasn’t affected, but I do remember Harv Brant moving his boat out. He lived in the lock house. He moved his piano out on a skiff. If that thing had moved one way or the other it would have sunk. You had canal boats sitting there between the lockhouse and the cemetery and it took those away.
John: Yes, there were some canal boats in the basin even though the canal had gone out of business. It took most of those or all of those.
Charlie: The two of them.
Maurice: We went up to the cemetery at Doubleday Hill and looking at the height of it, and the time the height of it at the Cushwa building was if I recall 49 ½ feet of water in the river coming down. The height of the flood was 49 ½ feet of water. From Doubleday Hill looking at the river we saw straw stacks coming down the river and chickens on top of straw stacks. The question we always tried to find out – what happened to the chickens?
Did they jump off on the bridge, go on down the other side? We don’t know.
But the scene from Doubleday Hill, looking upriver, the river was just loaded with trash. And over where Ms Mary Mish lived, which is the river bridge going across water was on the other side, it went over the bridge.
John: Did it go over the bridge?
Maurice: Oh yes
John: I knew it got right up to it. How about you sir? Where were you?
Bob: I didn't live in Williamsport at the time, but Dad brought us over. I remember seeing several buildings going down the river. And they seemed to be basically upright, with the peak of the roof up, with chickens on the top. To me, as a kid, the water ferocity was scary. And that amount of water, the height that it gained on the buildings round here, it's something I never forgot.
The participants in the discussion were Sue Hoch, Robert May, Jack Myers, Charles South, and Maurice Snyder. John Frye was the interviewer. Also present were Joan and Gerry Knode of the Williamsport Town Museum, who coordinated up the interview session, and Marie and Kevin Gilbert of the Hagerstown Herald-Mail.
Floods, Maryland, Cumberland, History; Cumberland (Md.),History.
Allegany County, Md., 1936