Friday, January 27, 2012


This is what U.S. Grant's birthplace looked like during the Great Flood of 1937 near Point Pleasant, Ohio.

In 1937, it started raining in southern Ohio and never stopped for 30 days. By around this date 75 years ago, the Ohio River crested near 82 feet at Coney Island near New Richmond, Ohio and we still marvel at that marker way in the air whenever we visit Coney Island today.

I thought it would be a good time to call Uncle Roy and see how he is doing so I called yesterday. I emailed this message to my family last night.

"I called Uncle Roy today to see how he was doing. I asked him if he knew what he was doing this day 75 years ago?

He would have been 8 years old then, living on the farm in Sardinia. I gave him a hint on the Great Flood and he said it flooded almost every year there but he remembers the water was over the Slab Camp bridge on Hamer Road and you couldn't get to the Stevens Farm on Stevens Road.

He told me the floods in 34 and 36 were nearly as big and the one in 36 was bigger in Pittsburgh. The flood of 37 crested around 81 feet in Cincinnati and a million homes were lost from Pittsburgh to Cairo, Illinois.

He said after the water went down some, Grandpa took them on a ride to Ripley where they saw a house that was washed off its foundation and sitting on its roof when the flood went down! We wished we had a picture of that and Winnie took all the pictures then but he didn't think they got one of it.

He said the flu was going through the house about that time and he and his sisters were in bed, ill from it. He said they listened to the big radio and kept the fire going and that was about it.

I asked if it was hard to feed the livestock? Dad was 22 then and a middle child with 4 older sisters and 3 younger sisters and Roy. We agreed nothing was that easy then, dry or wet."

I try to read the blogs you will find under my profile. I probably read The Lazy Farmer the most, George's Grouse, and Ralph Goff's and many others whenever I can. George's Grouse is from West Virginia and had a good blog on the '37 Flood.

Lots of people have been talking about it this week as it's been on the local news and it is so wet here it makes you wonder if we would have the same thing without the flood controls put in with WPA in the Great Depression. This area has seen up to 75 inches of rain in the last 13 months so the tributaries haven't been dry for a long time.

Uncle Roy devoted his career to soil and water conservation and flood projects that have kept our area "high and dry" compared to the '37 Flood.

I know it is drier west of Cairo, Illinois and I hope you find yourself "high and dry" today but get the water when you need it this year.

Ed Winkle


  1. Thanks for the plug Ed; I appreciate it. Interesting post!

  2. Thanks for writing the article! You did a lot of the footwork on what I wanted to say!