The Great Dayton Flood

Last week I didn’t get the post up , that I had intended,

So I will do my best to get them up this week! 🙂

A week and a half ago,

My dad and I headed over to the The Dayton Art Institute

For the Social Media Preview night of the new

Exhibit, “Storm, Watershed and Riverbank”.

The Great Dayton Flood happened Easter weekend in 1913.

As I mentioned, my dad was my date for the evening.

When the invitation to the event showed up in my e-mail,

I asked Aaron if he would mind if I asked my dad to be my date.

Dad is a bit of a Dayton Geek.

In a good way,

He knows so much about the history of our fair city,

So I thought this would be right up his alley.

It was great to spend the time together, but even

Better to discover some interesting things about the city

While finding a photograph with the hotel where his dad stayed

When he moved to Dayton.

Dad had never seen it, so it was fun!


It lives in this picture, but if you want to find it you

Will need to go there to see it.

Considering that my father is my resident Dayton Historian,

I asked him if he would write about the flood itself.

So here it is: (He wrote it a week or so ago)

One century ago this week, Dayton, Ohio and the entire Miami Valley were devastated by a massive flood as torrential, seasonal rains supersaturated the ground and the resulting runoff brought the Wolf Creek and both the Mad and Stillwater rivers to levels above flood stage. Their surging waters met the already swollen Great Miami River in the heart of downtown Dayton. The resulting floodwater broke through the earthen levees and rose up to the second story windows in just a few hours, stranding merchants, families and others throughout the business district and the adjacent neighborhoods. Horses, wagons, railroad cars and entire homes were carried through the streets by the rushing waters. Entire blocks were destroyed by raging fires as people fled from attic to attic of adjacent buildings to escape the inferno. Over 300 souls were lost. Dayton was changed forever. The story is depicted in photographs, original art and relics in The Dayton Art Institute’s exhibit of The Great Dayton Flood of 1913. The exhibit also covers the aftermath, recovery, preventative improvements made to the rivers and even future plans for making The Great Miami Riverfront a focal point for the further revitalization of downtown Dayton.

The history of the flood is interesting,

And I remember hearing stories as I was growing up,

Of people stranded on rooftops or people rowing boats

Through city streets to help rescue the stranded Daytonians.

In the next 3 photos you see the same house photographed at

6 a.m.


8:30 a.m.


and 11 a.m.


As you can see, the water rose fast and the people must have been terrified.

The most amazing part of the exhibit is the

Parallel photographs.

The DAI hired an artist to recreate the images in the current location of the original.

It was so helpful to see the before and after.


The DAI also features some of the upcoming river based projects!

This made me excited as I think of the fun that could be had

If the community had the opportunity to utilize our river!


The exhibit is beautiful and respectfully done.

I highly recommend you make your way out before the exhibit ends, May 5.

And a special thanks for my dad for joining me!

If you are interested in hearing more from my dad,

Hop over to Eastwood Eagle Watchers

Where he posts about the eagles that have made Dayton their home.


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