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Josiah Allen, of Deerfield, Massachusetts, heard the news of the Mill River flood in church the next day. That afternoon, his neighbors readied their teams of horse and oxen to drive them to the stricken region where they would be used to pull away flood debris, such as trees, roofs, and boulders, so that men could search for bodies. His son Ed volunteered (like thousands of others) two days later to search and clear wreckage. Since the disaster occurred during planting season, Mr. Allen had to continue his farm chores of planting and weeding. When the Williamsburg reservoir dam broke on May 16, 1874, it flooded a valley lined with factories and farms and killed 139, making it the deadliest dam failure in the U.S. at the time.


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Page from Josiah Allen diary regarding Mill River Disaster Flood

author   Josiah Allen (1814-1895)
date   May 17, 1874
location   Wapping, Deerfield, Massachusetts
width   6.5"
height   7.75"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Diary
accession #   #L05.005

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See Also...

Page from Amasa Jones diary regarding Mill River Disaster Flood

"Harper's Weekly Journal of Civilization" illustrations of Mill River Disaster Flood

"The Mill River Disaster" article from the Journal of Industry newspaper

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