There has been much talk about the especially rainy weather this spring. Flooding has been in the news frequently. I thought our readers might be interested in taking a look back to March and April of 1913, the time of the Great Flood. In Ohio, deaths reached figures between 422 and 470 and some 20,000 homes were totally destroyed. Homelessness became a major dilemma.
Ironically, with the current, impending National Registry recognition of the Bibler Lock it is also notable to understand the Great Flood's connection to the death knell of Ohio's canal system. As the canal preservationists and restoration enthusiasts were attempting to create a canal system "comeback" in the early years of the twentieth century, Mother Nature intervened. To alleviate the massive flooding of early spring in 1913, engineers determined it was necessary to dynamite the canal locks throughout the state in an effort to alleviate the unprecedented destructive flooding. This ended the plans and dreams of canal restoration for "Big Ditch"- "Silver Ribbon" enthusiasts.
THE TWIN-Baltimore and Basil-CITY NEWS
March 27, 1913
E.O WEIST (Editor/Publisher)
IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH
LOCAL TO YOUR BEST INTERESTS
"The rains of Monday and Tuesday were the hardest that we have had here in years and in consequences the creeks in this vicinity are higher than for years. The Paper Mill and Box Factory were put out of business having about three foot of water in the building, spoiling several thousands of dollars worth of stock and machinery. At Basil the waters of several creeks joins with Walnut and the combined waters are making serious inroads on the bridge embankments...No mails have been received here (since) Tuesday and will not likely have any until the waters recede. It is without doubt one of the worst storms in the history of the country."
Advertising in THE TWC reflected the results of the Great Flood as is indicated in the ad placed by Osbourne's Store in Baltimore.
PUT THE ROADS IN CONDITION:
"In the spring of the year when the rains have made our country roads and pikes (writer's note: "Pikes" were short for turnpikes, roadways where a toll was charged for use. An on-sight pike was a horizontal wooden post that swiveled and stretched across the road to stop traffic, animal and human. After the toll was exacted the "pike" was swiveled and its "turn" aside allowed access. The small vacant house south of Baltimore at the NE corner of St. Rt. 158 and Leonard Rd. is an old toll house.) in a sort of soft condition. Then as a rule more heavy hauling is done that damages our roads more than any other time of the year. What is needed is road superintendents with backbone to see that the heavy loads are hauled when roads are solid, also use log drags on the road after a heavy rain and before the mud is dry which will fill the deep cuts and will drain off the water, making a solid road bed. Keep your eye on the fellow that always does his hauling when the roads are soft."
"Dr. Sperry-The 'Twin City' Dentist...A good set of teeth for five dollars...Teeth extracted and cleaned free of charge when other work done...Sperry makes his work good or gives your money back..."
"A newspaper is in no sense a child of charity. It earns twice over every dollar it receives, and it is second to no enterprise in contribution to the up-building of a community. Its patrons reap far more benefits from its pages than its publishers, and in calling for the support of the community in which it is published, it asks for no more than in all fairness belongs to it, though generally it receives less."
Ad for movie (Born to the West) at Aurora in Basil...The building still stands across the alley just east of Ken Mauger's automobile shop off the Basil Square on W. Market St.. This large building has been converted into a private residence after being the former V.F.W. Hall and several small business ventures. Incidentally, across W. Market St. from the Aurora was Dr, Sperry's Dentist Office.
THE TWIN CITY NEWS April 3, 1913
"Most of the people in this vicinity have been at Columbus during the past strenuous week, helping rescue or seeking friends who were residents of the west side, while others were there to see the havoc wrought by the waters."
"The storm of last week laid out both shows that were to have been held at City Hall, and we do not know if we can now arrange later dates."
"Mr. and Mrs. Will Gender, Daniel Goss, wife and son Harold of Columbus and Mrs. F.C. Ginder south of town, who were visiting them, were all rescued from the flood. While their household goods, clothing ,etc. wee almost ruined, yet they are thankful that it is no worse."
"The creek bridge located between the towns after the flood receded last week fell in at the west end over two feet, the stone abutment undermined by the water. The bridge was closed against traffic and is a great inconvenience. To judge by former efforts of our county commissioners we can expect to be discommoded for the next six months before traffic can be resumed."
Ad for a movie at the Victoria Opera House
Paw Paw Brevities:
"Quite a number of our people have been taking in the sights at Columbus since the flood."
"Ava Wagner, T.D. and F.G. Ketner spent Thursday and Friday in Columbus taking in the sights of the flood."
"Mr. and Mrs. Silas Diley and son Floyd spent Saturday with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Daubenmire (on Leonard Road)." (writer's note: Henry and Loda Daubenmire appeared three more times in this neighborhood 's social notes. They were the maternal Great Grandparents of the writer.)
"This community is certainly to be commended for its promptness in responding to the calls for relief from Columbus. Believing that a dollar today is worth five next week, Basil made a hasty canvass of its citizens securing over a hundred dollars...In response to a telephone (call) asking for milk, Mayor Finkbone collected sixty gallons Saturday morning. We have been unable to keep track of crates of eggs, at least six boxes of clothing, outfits for infants, etc. which have been forwarded with great promptness. Surely the sympathy every one has been enlisted and promptly and substantially expressed."
Card of Thanks:
"We wish through this (column) of the News to thank our many friends for interest manifested in us while being marooned in the recent Columbus flood...I.U. Lines for the use of his automobile, N.H. Carpenter, T.D. Griley and D.E. Friesner who took their own lives in their hands to come to our rescue; we must confess Baltimore's people never looked so good to us as they did on that Thursday evening...the experience of those who were entrapped, you dear people who have been contributing for the flood sufferers have never helped a more worthy cause...the first boat reaching us with water and cheese crackers from the Salvation Army. We pray for God's blessings upon all of you and that you may never have an experience that so many Ohio people have had in the recent flood...Mr. and Mrs. C.M. Wagner"
Town Hall including the Victoria (playhouse and movie theater) and Friesner Tire Shop on lower level. Over the course of time many different businesses were housed on the bottom level of the Town Hall built in 1905.
(writer's note: As in the previous March 27 issue, advertising took notice of the Great Flood's affect on businesses and customers. The following "Market Comments" is from the D.S. Cook & Co.in Basil. D.S. Cook was the father of renowned local historian, naturalist and author Lewis Cook who worked in his father's Oak Alley (Street) agricultural business in Basil).
"Owing to floods and wind storm damage there has been little doing in any of the grain markets. The floods stopped transportation and broken telegraph wires interfered with the transmission of market news, as all lines that were working were used for news from the flood swept cities...D.S.Cook & Co."